The Journal

Choosing The Perfect Portrait Location

April 26, 2021

One of the first questions I get from my portrait clients is “Where should we do our portrait session?” (This one usually comes right after “What should I wear?!”) While the answer to choosing the perfect portrait location varies from client to client, I’m hoping to give just few tips to help you narrow your options down and find that perfect spot and create beautiful images!

  1. Decide on the style of backdrop you want. Are you going for a modern and fun urban feel? Or more of a natural romantic vibe with big open fields, dreamy tall grass and wildflowers? Maybe a European farmer’s market feel with pretty cobblestone and charming architecture? Deciding what kind of vibe you are going for narrows down the list of locations and also defines the style of your photos right off the bat!
  2. Sentimental places. I LOVE when my clients pick a location that means something to them! Whether it’s where the proposal took place or just their favorite hiking spot, it truly makes the session unique and completely their own.
  3. Going the distance. It’s also important to determine how far you’re willing to drive to achieve the style you’ve settled on. If you live in the city but want an adventurous mountain scene for your images, you may have to drive a bit to get that look. All it takes is a little more planning and time management but I find that it’s absolutely worth it. For my couples, my suggestion is to make it a fun date night or weekend away to make it worth the trip! I love getting to photograph in fun spots like Charleston or up in the mountains and getting to make a fun weekend out of it! (Conversely, I like to suggest to families I photograph with little ones to try to choose a location near their home so there aren’t any grumpy or groggy kiddos from longer drives.)
  4. Consider image distractions. This is typically something to consider more in urban areas. I love getting to photograph in different cities but there is an added challenge of working around things like construction sites, orange cones, cars, etc. But of course it’s not impossible! If you’ve chosen a pretty popular park or somewhere in a city for your perfect portrait location, consider doing a sunrise session to minimize the number of people out and cars driving around in the background of your images.

I hope these tips help you when it comes to choosing the perfect portrait location for your next session! What are some of your favorite portrait locations?

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