Portrait Session: 5 Tips for Finding a Great Location

Where should you get your photos taken? How long should you spend doing it? Is there a spot that guarantees good photos? Unique Visions’ Brett Lees with his five best tips.

  • Story by Photo Brett Lees

Where should you get your photos taken? How long should you spend doing it? Is there a spot that guarantees good photos? Unique Visions’ Brett Lees with his five best tips.  

Seek out locations that offer more than one option. For instance, Auckland’s West Coast beaches offer the sea, sand dunes and bush backdrops, all of which offer images with completely different looks, whereas a vineyard will be more limited in variety. 

Restrict your location selections to around two great spots. I’d rather shoot in two locations and have time for everyone to relax and get some great images than try to cover four spots for the sake of it. When you try and rush a shoot – by driving from place to place and piling the bridal party in and out of cars – you don’t get a chance to explore an area’s potential or for people to relax and allow for spontaneity. The best shots are captured when subjects feel at ease. 

Struggling to think of a location? Ask your photographer. There are certain spots that may not initially strike you as any more stunning than the next, but from a photographic perspective some work better than others. Any setting that has a variety of backdrops in different directions, for instance, let a photographer get great shots no matter the light conditions or direction.  

Be true to yourself. It’s important that the location is relevant to you – trying to photograph a bride on a beach when hates the thought of getting sand in her dress and never normally visits the beach anyway will always be a disaster. Ensure the location is somewhere you feel comfortable.

Have a wet weather contingency. Running through a hay paddock on a sunny day will make for great photos – on a rainy day, not so much. Whatever your plan, be sure to have a backup option and umbrellas incase the weather doesn’t let it happen. 

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