People often associate “professional” photos with studios and giant light boxes. Maybe we’ve all watched a little too much Top Model? But anyone with a credit card (to rent or buy equipment) who can read a light meter and do some basic math can light a studio. Location shooting is a special experience that requires a constant demand for creativity and imagination from everyone, from the model, photographer, makeup artist to lighting tech, and the possibilities are endless.
WHY SHOOT OUTDOORS?
NO. 1: IT’S PRETTY.
Eden Knodel in Sonoma and Christina Russo at Sutro Baths
A beautiful landscape is much more of a feast for the eyes than a black curtain. It’s beauty by association! But the girls I’ve worked with draw attention to their talent by being the most salient and beautiful thing that draws your eye even in such a breathtaking space. It’s all about capturing our attention. If you can do it here, you can do it ANYWHERE. Likewise if your clothes stand out here, they will stand out in any crowd.
NO. 2: IT’S HUGE!
Whether the setting is urban, countryside or beach, you are free to move about, experiment with posing, dancing, jumping, walking, running and being completely free! There’s never any harm in trying something because it’s not a big deal to change up locations and make adjustments. (Eden experimented with multiple movement concepts during her “Sound of Music” themed shoot.)
No. 3: IT CONVEYS THE CONCEPT.
Whether you find you’re a gritty rocker on the mean streets, a good girl moseying in a suspect part of town, two dolls finding love at the Barbie Dream House or a fairy taking flight in the woods – the background lends a hand in the storytelling and makes the styling that much more compelling.
(Donia Voss, Melaine A, Lacey J and Brian Gabriel and Serena Lauren respectively.)
No. 4: THERE’S LOTS TO PLAY WITH.
There’s fantastic opportunities to sit up on, lean against, grab ahold of, and balance or bend on the surroundings. Sometimes it’s something I see, other times it’s a model who finds it for herself. There’s no harm in trying everything and most of the time these kind of creative risks have a huge pay off!
Christina finds a bed on a ledge, supports her poses on rock structures, cliffs and ledges at Sutro Baths to create dimensional poses. Sarai hangs by a thread in an emotional pose on Krissy Field. Eden strikes a challenging balance across a wooden bridge in a forrest. Melaine uses a fence to position her body in a beauty shot.
Even after the shoot is over there are ways to use the setting to enhance a concept like Serena Lauren’s forrest nymph being rooted into the ground to enhance the fairytale-fantasy concept.
NO. 5: WE LOVE OUR CITY!
Do I ever get tired of shooting in the Bay Area? Heck NO! And every once in a while it’s nice to pay homage to this beautiful place so that the world knows exactly where we’re shooting these beautiful pictures. Whether it’s subtle references to the world’s largest Chinatown, our trademark cable cars, one the world’s greatest chocolatiers or one of the first suspension bridges that is like no other, San Francisco is buffet of beautiful backdrops that lets everyone know exactly where I call home.