A Guide to the Best Locations for Photo Shoots

Locations for Photo Shoots

Photography is much more than simple pictures of people and scenery. Photographs evoke deep emotions, freeze beautiful memories in time, and can become generational icons. After all, they say a picture is worth 1,000 words. As a photographer, you want the same to be said about your photos, whether they’re for a client’s photoshoot or a beautiful scene you came across on your own.

Frequently, many people think the clients choose the location for their photoshoots. However, it’s often left entirely up to you, the photographer. So, when you’re planning a photoshoot, how do you choose the best location? In this guide, we’ll explore how to find the best place for your next photoshoot to satisfy your portfolio and your clients’ needs.

It’s not about “where”; it’s about the look and feel of the location.


When discussing possible locations with your client, change the language you use. What that means is to avoid asking, “Do you have any ideas in mind of where you want your session to take place?” Instead, ask, “What kind of look and feel are you looking for in your photos?” This simple change in language will help your clients visualize their finished photos.

One of the most popular locations is a place that’s meaningful to the client. It may not make you feel emotional, but it will bring out deep emotions in your clientele, and they’ll cherish these photos forever. For example, if your client took a memorable vacation to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Los Angeles, then that could be the perfect backdrop to their photos. You could use this Aquarium of the Pacific discount and take some pictures of your client’s family at one of the most memorable places of their lives.

Create the look and feel if you can’t physically go to it.


The magic of lighting is one that not enough photographers take advantage of nowadays. When your clients are looking for a specific atmosphere for their photos or need to create a particular atmosphere for your portfolio, proper lighting can turn any location into your ideal photo shoot.

Lighting equipment can indeed be expensive, and if you’re just starting, it can seem unfeasible. However, plenty of companies are available to rent your lighting equipment from, such as this company offering lighting equipment rental in NYC.

We could write an entirely separate article about how to use lighting, but today, we’ll cover a few basics to get you started. Lighting is always crucial in your photos and can help you when you can’t go to a specific location. To capture the atmosphere you’re seeking, you need to emphasize the lighting as much as possible. For example, suppose you want to create a warm and cozy feel regardless of where you’re at, such as a summer evening. In that case, you’d use softer lighting like a soft orange light to produce a radiant glow that imitates a sunny summer evening. Experiment with your lighting to create various effects to see what kinds of locations you can emulate in your studio.

Find the perfect location for a specific atmosphere.


Aside from mimicking locations with lighting and using memorable spots for your clients’ photographs, you can also choose the location based solely on the mood you want to emulate.

So, if you’re looking for an ethereal-like mood, consider an open field, nature park, or somewhere that has bright ambient light with no busyness in the background, such as buildings or vehicles. For a nature-themed shoot, parks and open fields are excellent locations with plenty of greenery. Consider a busy neighborhood when you’re doing an urban or high fashion-style shoot. If you’re lucky enough to be in or nearby a city, the hustle-and-bustle of downtown is perfect. Finally, consider shooting at buildings with older architectural styles, such as large wooden doors and big archways, for a more vintage feel.

Find your perfect location.

A lot goes into finding locations and creating moods for photographs. Remember, it’s more about the mood than the location itself. Additionally, you can emulate places with the proper lighting. Otherwise, search for your location by considering atmosphere and mood above all else.