9 Tips on Portrait Photography Locations & Outfits

The two of these go hand-in-hand, sometimes quite literally. Portraying a mood in a photo is essential in creating a powerful image.

I always recommend to bring a few different outfits for a particular shoot. This helps for two reasons. One, it gives me and the model more variety, allowing us to portray several different moods over the duration of the shoot. And two, it takes some of the stress off the model over choosing just one outfit. It’s a win-win situation here! So, during this shoot at the botanical gardens with Emmy, she brought a few different “springy” looks for us to play around with.

These two outfits were both shot in about the same location, but the images convey different meanings because of a quick outfit change. Because of this, we made one location look like multiple and got different results!

Another little tip – attacking photos from a different angle also portrays different meanings. We were in a bit of a more wide open area here and I opted to get some with the ceiling in the photos (mainly because Emmy wanted it). However, shooting up gives off something totally different than shooting straight on. It creates a bit more emotion than otherwise given.

Shoot. Through. Things.

If you get one things from this blog, seriously, put obstacles in front of your camera. It seriously can add an insane amount of emotion to your photos. It also adds an intense blur to your shots and gives it an extra sense of creativity!

Get physical with it. Move around in your locations, whether it’s with your arms or clothes, or even shifting from one leg to another. Slight movements can really go a long way in photography in creating completely different photos. If you can afford to get dramatic with it, like Emmy certainly can, the more dramatic, the better!! (She has a flair for the dramatics, doesn’t she?)

If you can, shoot wide. Preferably, full body. It shows so much more of your location and can bring the viewer in even deeper than before. A lot can be conveyed in close-up images of course, but sometimes, showing a lot of scenery can really paint the picture clear and obvious in the viewers head. I always make a point to shoot some landscape portraits and full bodies on my shoots. It helps me stay creative as well!

Even if you think it’ll turn out weird, try it. We had this mirror in the gardens and she had a vision for it and I didn’t see it at all. We spent a lot of time here (and two outfits), and we finally got the groove and painted her reality. This is a spot I usually would skip out on, but since she pushed me, it worked out perfectly.

Do some hair flips. Yeah, I could’ve put this under the “get physical” suggestion, but hey, hair flips are sorta my thing. Plus, they can turn out to be super duper epic too, yeah?

Finally – GET. MOODY. This is a step out of my comfort zone usually but since I’ve taken a bunch like these, I’ve grown to love moody photos like this. We were actually wrapping up the shoot when I spied this area and I convinced Emmy to stay a little longer and shoot a few more pictures (which, was probably like 1,000,000 more…oops…). But hey, use dramatic lighting when you can. Remember, this whole shoot was done in the same exact location!

As one final thought, obscuring your lens and shooting through leaves or other objects tells a different story. These four images are much different than the above five images. I’ll leave it to you to discover the difference, but it seriously is a great way to better your portraits.

I must say, it was awesome getting back to writing. I’ve been sitting on this photoshoot since April!! To sum it all up, I went through some job changes and that took up SO much time but after chatting with a friend about her blog and podcast and more, I decided I wanted to get serious about my blog again. So, here we are! I’m hoping to be more consistent again – maybe one to two times a week? I’d love to do more – I’ve been shooting so much! We’ll get there eventually.

But, for now, I hope you enjoyed this blog! It was a fun one to write

Happy shooting!

~ Justin

Parting shot:

Emmy_five-58
She stood waiting for you.

Next blog: Oh gosh, where to begin!? I have so much to catch up on, I honestly don’t even know where to start. Just know that the blogs will be more frequent from now on! 🙂

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