Summer is here and for a photographer, theirs thoughts often turn to the great outdoors to continue their passion.
The most obvious is travel photography. As this is a popular time for people to get away from the daily humdrum of work and domestic chores, a chance to widen ones horizons and get some great visual memories.
Not to mention one big advantage is you often have willing subjects to shoot and assist, your family. However, not everyone’s family or friends will be so cooperative. after all it is a holiday.
For studio photographers, they may like to try their skills outside their familiar environment. Rather than a disadvantage, it can force the photographer to rethink his craft and stimulate a new way to seeing.
So what’s the best way to get started
- Location, location, location… is a mantra for real estate agents but can equally apply to location photographers. How do you go about finding the best spots for a shoot? One way is to look on Flickr for photos taken in your area. If you find something that looks good, you can contact the photographer and ask where it was taken. Ok, some photographers may be a bit secretive but you will also get ones who are too willing to share.
- Another way is just to drive around the area and see what’s around. This has worked for me on various occasions. Living in the city, I often come across gritty alleyways and interesting buildings that have proved fruitful.
- Once the location is found, you need to see if a property release form is required. A release form is often required for shooting on private property. Nothing more embarrassing than to turn up with the model, mua and equipment and then be turned away by a security guard.
- Always take the weather with you. Well, actually you can’t unless it’s an indoor shoot.
For outdoor work, I always make a backup plan just in case the weather turns for the worse. This saves you on model fees.
Brief about resources
- Portability of equipment; This is a major issue as you no longer have a tethered power supply. To have the control you are used to you’ll need to start working with portable equipment. This has obvious power limitations so you set or shoot will have to adjust to this. However, it doesn’t mean you will need to limit your creativity, just work around it.
Reflectors are a great portable resource.
- Choosing the right model and mua. Make it clear to your team where you will be shooting. Outdoor shoots can take a lot out of you with all the walking and lugging equipment. A model posing in an evening gown on a mountain top may look like a great concept shot but it’s a logistical nightmare.
So follow these tips and you will have a great time!