Location Photography 101: Capturing A Place’s Essence Through Your Camera’s Lens

For some photographers, location photography can be a huge and arduous challenge. Subjects are unfamiliar and shooting conditions can be extremely volatile. But still, this element of unpredictability makes for some very insightful pictures.

Choose your location wisely

Don’t just pick any random spot off a map. Think about the things that draw you to a certain place- is it the architecture, the atmosphere, the people? These elements will be define how you do location photography, so its best to focus your attention on them.

Plan ahead

Make sure that you have a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve with your location photography session. Make your trip as efficient as possible- don’t waste time and energy roaming and shooting around randomly. Visualize the kinds of shots that you will do beforehand and plan the route that you will take using a map.

Place Royale by MPBecker

Pay attention to landmarks

Landmarks can be excellent focal points for your location photography shoots. Old and unique buildings, monuments, parks and architectural installations are objects that add character to a place. They can also provide a little bit of history too- a characteristic that will surely add another dimension to your shots.

Look at the big picture

Don’t limit yourself- location photography gives you a lot of room for experimentation. Strive to find new angles from which to explore your desired place. If possible, you can also try finding a nice view for a landscape or panorama shoot.

Don’t forget the small details

It’s not always about the big things, sometimes the smallest of objects can tell a lot about a particular place. Keep an eye out for plaques, engravings, signages and other minute details that you can add a distinct personality to your pictures.

Tell people’s stories

A huge part of a place’s appeal comes from its people. They are the ones who breathe life and energy into the it. Remember, location photography is not always about the location alone. Taking pictures of strangers might seem a bit daunting at first, but it can be a fulfilling experience. Just ask their permission first, and then introduce yourself and explain what you are doing.

Never rush your shots

In location photography, quality is more important than quantity. Take your time to think and wait for the perfect moment to click the shutter; rushed shots are less likely to produce quality pictures.

Keep a healthy amount of variety

Try out new angles, frame your shots in unexpected places, shoot from the hip- location photography should never be repetitive! Make sure that your pictures have a lot of character in them. Use the foreground or the rule of thirds to emphasize the the focal points in your photos.

Share or sell your images

After choosing the best shots in your collection and post-processing them, you might want to consider pitching them to advertising agencies, local newspapers, online press and other entities that might be interested in buying your pictures. This is an excellent way to build your reputation in the field of location photography and earn money at the same time too.

Go for it!

The tips above should aid you into your first forays into location photography. Start in a place that you’re familiar with, like a hometown or nearby park. From there, dare to explore other places and locations that can provide you with fresh ideas.

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