Often times I get asked “where is a great place to take photographs” and for me this is easy. I like green parks and mountains. Your needs may be different and there are things to consider.
Studio – Some photographers only work in a studio setting. They are able to control all the lights, change backgrounds and ensure every shot is perfect from start to finish. Studio portraits are great because you can get in and out a lot quicker and you know more or less what the end results will look like.
On Location – On location is exactly that. You choose a location, be it outdoors or indoors and you work with what you have. Sure we can control some light with reflectors, and flashes but outside and on location we are at the mercy of all the elements that may be. For me, I prefer on location for a few reasons.
Lets say we go to a park for family photos. While I am shooting the older kids the younger ones can play. While I am shooting the parents the kids can have some fun nearby. This lightens everyone moods, kids are happier and smiling and a lot of times the moments when the kids are having fun and playing are some of the better shots because we are not forcing them to smile or stand still. Parents are no longer stressed because to get that perfect shot. A great example of that is below. During this shoot we were working with a lot of kids. The aunt asked to have one picture of all the kids laying down. Well the two youngest did not really like this idea, they wanted to jump on everyone and play. So we went with what we had and had them jump and lay on other people and in the end it was one of my favorite shots of the day. The smiles, the expressions were all natural. We were not forcing them to smile a certain way or look at the camera. In the end we got a few of the older boys looking at the camera, the girl to the left was in a full on laugh cause her brother just jumped on her and the aunt is right there enjoying the moment.
Another reason I like on locations is because of all the random props you find. Maybe a tree to lean on or leaves to throw. A playground where you can get some great shots of the kids playing. The possibilities are endless.
Finally when it comes to outdoor/on location I really enjoy it because we put you in your environment vs. mine. If you like riding horses then lets take photos of you on a horse or brushing them. If you play a sport lets get you on the field or the court. The photos are all about you and what you want.
When deciding on a photographer and location keep these things in mind. I will always help with locations based on what I know about you but at the end of the day the location will be a reflection of who you are.