September 22, 2020
One of my favorite parts of what I do is taking something that appears ordinary and making it look BEAUTIFUL! This happens quite often when it comes to choosing portrait locations. One of the reasons why I love and appreciate my clients so much, is that they trust me! While I absolutely LOVE those amazing mountain views or shooting right on the beach, sometimes I’ll choose a spot that most people wouldn’t look twice at.
It’s all about LIGHT!
There is so much that actually goes into choosing a great portrait location. The one major factor that will determine where we shoot is the light! The first thing I do when I arrive to portrait locations is right away look for the best light. One thing to keep in mind is that not all light is good light! I am so thankful that my clients understand my crazy thought process. They trust that my choices in where to place them are going to flatter them the best!
What I Look For in Portrait Locations…
- We all want to avoid those dark shadows around the eyes. Depending on where and how I place my clients I can always make sure that faces are well lit.
- I make sure to find spots that will flatter skin tones and not cause weird color casts!
- Avoiding distractions and heavy darkness is also something I’m looking at when deciding where to shoot. Because my clients have come to love my light and airy style, I make sure to avoid anything dark and heavy in the background.
- Having wide open access to the sky will allow amazing light on the front of my clients, resulting in beautifully natural skin tones! If we are tucked into a dense patch of tall dark, green trees and they can’t face any part of the sky, the trees will cause green color casts on the skin and there will be unflattering dark shadows where we don’t want them!
There is so much more that goes into choosing great portrait locations and making sure that my clients not only come out of their session feeling amazing, but are blown away by their gallery! Which is why I don’t take choosing a location lightly! Take a look at some examples below of places I shot sessions or weddings and why I chose the spots I did!
Shannon + Brenden’s engagement session at Pittock Mansion
This engagement session was INCREDIBLE! We shot at a mansion that overlooks the city of Portland and Mt Hood! Gorgeous! Though, after shooting around the mansion for a while, we wandered around the grounds and the land a bit. We then came across this spot that you see below. First thing I noticed, (and it’s hard to tell in this cell phone shot) was the light! It was coming in through the trees and that area open to the sky. Bonus! There was a super cute wooden fence!
There were lots of cars driving by and people around. But I could see something completely different in my head than I knew anyone else could see in that moment. I am so thankful they trusted me, agreed to cross that street and stand on the side of the road! Take a look below at what Shannon had to say about her experience!
“Prior to shooting our engagement pictures, my fiancé and I were nervous to be in front of the camera, especially as a couple because we had never done it with a professional before. However as soon as we met Joni at the photoshoot location we were put at ease. She was so comforting yet helpful in directing us how to be in front of the camera. We explored all the beautiful areas around Pittock mansion and even walked the trails for photo inspiration.
As we crossed the trailhead, she stopped us on the road when she saw a potential spot against a fence. We were surprised because to the naked eye, it was just an old fence next to the road with cars driving by. But we fully trusted her and she kept her focus on us with bystanders and cars surrounding us. When we got those photos back we were shocked! They were some of our favorite ones and one would never know looking at those shots that we were just steps away from cars.
“She captured us in our element”
A short time later when we got our photo gallery back we were amazed at how she captured us in our element. We were absolutely in awe of the pictures she took and cannot wait for her to be there on our wedding day! Booking a photoshoot with Joni is more than getting your picture taken, it’s truly more of an experience with a caring, funny and giving person who feels like a close friend that you’ve known for years. I highly recommend :)” – Shannon
Want to visit Pittock Mansion? Check it out here! https://pittockmansion.org/visit/
On the fence about a first look? Take a look at why it’s worth it!