As you begin reading this blog, you will realize that things aren't always what they seem. When looking for the perfect location for your senior portrait session, you don't exactly need to find the most luxurious scenery to capture a beautiful photo. Most people think they need to rent out some breath-taking setting, when in reality you just need to have the right eye to turn a mundane environment into a piece of art. While paying to shoot at a botanical garden or private resort may be helpful, it's not necessary by any means.
Skylar and I finished the in-studio portion of her senior session and looked outside to see all the weather offered was overcast skies and high winds. We were tempted to postpose due to the weather. Luckily, Skylar was excited and eager to approach this challenge so we went for it! I always like to suggest for my seniors to come up with some locations that they find interesting, making their photos unique to them. However, Skylar simply knew she wanted photos around downtown Indiana, PA- the town where she was raised. We decided to just walk around town to find some nooks and crannies around town to shoot in. I enjoy shooting this way, with little to no plan, sometimes because it encourages creativity!
As we started our walk around town, we stuck to mostly side streets to try and find some seldom used locations. We got to our first spot and Skylar looked puzzled as to why this would be the place I chose to stop. With just a small green, vibrant wall in an ally way surround by trash cans, no parking signs, and parking lots, I'm sure she was wondering what we were doing. But when I showed her the first couple shots on the back of my camera she was shocked and ecstatic about the outcome. Hearing your client say things like "oh my god, I love that!" is great because you know you have their trust and they are on board with the process.
We began making our way from one end of Philly Street to the other, finding many spots that one would not think "that's where I want my senior photos taken!" As we walked, we found a small patch of blooming flowers on the north side of 7th street. By the way I positioned Skylar and angled my camera, I was able to manipulate this rather small patch of flowers to look like she was placed into a field of flowers. Once again, Skylar was trusting, but not quite sure what I was doing. When she saw the outcome on the back of the camera, she was very excited! "Oh my goodness, now that one is my favorite!", she said.
One of my favorite shots I ended up capturing was Skylar on a set of stairs, looking as if she is floating in the sky. We approached a sketchy alley way and eventually went up a rusted stairwell leading to the roof of a building we most likely should not have been on. Sometimes you have to be willing to take those risks to get "the shot."
Nearby was a fire escape with beautiful, yet erratic, ivy crawling along the wall. We took advantage of that scenery and captured stunning pictures on the fire escape. With the help of Photoshop, I was able to make the ivy wall more lush and get rid of the distractions.
This session is a perfect example of how you don't need to overthink location choice to capture beautiful images. What you see is not what your photographer sees ;)
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