I do all my shoots on-location. So, when I am setting up a senior shoot, one of the first questions is, obviously - where do you want to do the shoot? I always ask first because I think a shoot location should be personal and reflect the client's interests and personality. Many times, the client isn't sure where they want to do the shoot and I am happy to brainstorm some options. I start my "brainstorming" by asking what type of look they want - flowers and trees and a manicured-type park setting, a rustic rural setting, or maybe an urban setting? More often than naught, the client wants greenery and a pretty scene. Urban type shoots are rarely chosen and get a bit of a bad rap. But I personally think they can be one of the nicest locations! There are often very brightly colored walls which make beautiful backdrops. There often many places to sit, lean, stand which gives so many more posing options. The locations are interesting and unique and the possibilities are almost endless!
There is also the amazing light. You see, the open shade of a building on a bright, sunny day is some of the most perfect light EVER. The light is bright yet perfectly even so skin tones are just perfect. And then there are catchlights. Catchlights are those bright sparkles you see in the subject eyes. I have definitely learned, over the last few years, how finding the right light is probably the most important element in a beautiful photo. Of course, you need to know how to properly expose the photo, pose the subjects, compose the photo, but if you don't have good light, you pretty much have nothing.
So, this week I did a "practice" session with my beautiful niece and her two best friends. I had been wanting to do such a shoot where I can work on posing and where I can pick exactly where and when I want to shoot and was really happy that my niece and her friends were willing models! I scouted some locations a month of so ago, and found some great places in downtown Erie, PA! The only one problem with my scouting trip was it was pouring rain and I really had a hard time determining where the sun would be at different times of day. So, some of my scouted locations didn't work exactly as I had hoped. But we improvised and it was A-OK!
I was so excited when we finally were able to schedule the shoot. And it was such a good time! My models were stunning, the light was perfect and the photos? Well, just see a sampling for yourself!!!!
We started out down by the docks along the bay. There are some old buildings and I loved the different colors and textures. Unfortunately, most of the area was in bright sunlight on the day of the shoot. But we found one small corner that was in the shade. I am sure the passing cars and people thought we were be a bit odd to pick such a old and run down spot for a photo shoot, but, as you can see, the photos turned out pretty amazing!
We then got a few photos along the water. It was, as I said, very bright and hot in the sun, but I loved the colored posts. So I posed my models in the sliver of shade of one of the posts and got just a few shots. I also got just a bit of one of my favorite things - sunflare!!
We then made out way up to the Erie Museum. There are beautiful steps, sculptures and columns at the museum, but, unfortunately, at that time of day, the sun is just pounding directly on the steps. I didn't get the photos on the steps as I had hoped, but we were able to improvise and used the shade from the massive columns to get some pretty gorgeous shots!
Next stop? The sidewalk down State Street! We crossed from the museum to the shady side of the street. With a wide open aperture, I was able to blur out the distractions while keeping the colors and lines of the building and trees. I love these shots! We had a lot of attention during this portion of the shoot from random passerbys, but my models were like pros and didn't let the attention bother them one bit!
I do have to add, this guy told me as we started that he can't take a good picture. Well, I was definitely up to the challenge. And I think I proved him QUITE wrong!
After a quick break for a cold drink at Starbucks, we ended the shoot with some shots by the "blue wall". I love the color!!!!
One final shot of my great models!!!
There are great little nooks and crannies like this in pretty much every town. So, if you want to try incorporating an "urban" location in your shoot, just give me a shout. I would love to do a bit of scouting and find the perfect spot for your shoot! Of course, my shoots often run from 1 - 3 hours. So if you even want to mix it up and combine urban and rural, that would definitely be a possibility as well!
And I wanted to thank my great models!!! I couldn't ask for a better group!!!! If you want to see even more photos from this shoot, please stop by Facebook business page!!!
Until next time!