Finding locations can be tricky. You want to find places that are unique, lend themselves to different “looks” you can move through in a session, work for sitting down, standing up, and everything in between, have the right lighting for whatever time you’re meeting a client, and isn’t too hard to find parking and get to. Oh, and hopefully isn’t too far way from me or my client.
Usually when I go location scouting, I have my troupe of three kiddos trekking along with me. This evening, I put baby to bed early and left him at home with dad while I took my two bigs to wander around a horse trail a little ways past Woodward Park. I always note whether or not there’s open shade and if the sun is in the right direction for an afternoon shoot (most people want evening shoots rather than getting up at 5:30am now that it’s summer). If I can’t have open shade (something big is blocking out the direct light creating neutral light), then, I want to be able to have the sun in a position where it will go “sun–> clients–> me+camera.” That way I get solid shade on my clients faces instead of having them squinting into the sun and getting raccoon eyes. So this particular location has some large trees where I can get big patches of open shade when the sun is up higher. It also has the sun in the correct position for shooting the background I want, although the little knoll is high enough on the other side of the trail that I could probably shoot in the other direction for a morning shoot as well. I usually offer clients a choice of either a nature setting like this or an urban setting. I’m open to client’s suggestions, especially if they have a place that has meaning to them, but you might not get the look you want in your images if you haven’t considered the lighting for that location.