When booking an on location photo shoot the question of location naturally comes up, and rightly so as its an important factor in your photo shoot.
Location sets a tone for the shoot and adds to the overall end result – it’s an important decision. However it’s best not to over think or worry about picking the perfect location as a good creative photographer will instinctively make the best of any given location and make it work for the photo shoot, and we do enjoy a challenge!
So when deciding on a location here are some things to keep in mind:
Variety and interest – background and foreground interest can add to a photo, when selecting your location finding somewhere that offers a variety of opportunities gives wider options.
Shelter – because the weather can be unpredictable, I always recommend that where possible you pick a location that has some amount of shelter close by so that if the heavens open we can all take shelter and even continue the shoot should the rain persists.
Relevance – where does your dog enjoy being the most? Maybe its a beach, a field or maybe a more urban setting – picking a location your dog is used to helps them relax and makes the resulting photos more relevant to you and your dog.
Safety – its important to pick somewhere that everyone can be safe, including you and anyone you bring along. It doesn’t mean that you can only pick somewhere that your dog can be off lead as leads can be carefully edited out. If you bring children along to the shoot, consider how you will keep them safe while attention is on your dog. Is your dog not great at recall? Then maybe a location that is more enclosed would be good.
Legality – is the location you have in mind a public space? There are a lot of lovely bluebell woods around, however many are private property – always check to make sure you can legally be at the location you pick. If it is private land then permission much be obtained, preferably in writing.
Accessibility – if your perfect location is a 40 minute hike from the nearest parking please let me know in advance as timings would need to be extended!
Popularity – is your chosen location likely to be busy, and if so will your dog find it too distracting? My dog tends to find other people far more interesting than me and my camera, so if you dog is the same somewhere quieter may provide a better session.
But don’t worry, if you find it difficult to decide on location I am happy to provide suggestions based on the type of environment your dog is likely to be happiest in, and dont be too quick to rule out probably the greatest location – your own home and garden! Some of the best shoots and results I have had have been in the dogs own home and garden.