When I moved from Madrid back to my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find any good locations for photoshoots. Cincinnati is pretty, but it’s nothing compared to the ancient monuments and winding streets of Spain. However, I decided to embrace the challenge and use this as an opportunity to find unique photoshoot locations in a suburban setting. It has actually been really fun to explore my area looking for new places to shoot and to get to know my city more intimately. Here are my top tips for finding great photoshoot locations, no matter where you are!
1. Go for a run. Going for runs or walks is my favorite way to get to know an area. You go down paths and see things you never would in a car. This was my favorite way to explore when I was abroad and now it’s my favorite way to find new and interesting photo locations near my home.
2. Check the lighting. Take note of which way the sun shines in this location and where you will place yourself in the space. Make sure to shoot at a time of day when the sun will be facing your subject so your photos don’t end up as a silhouette. This is especially important when shooting against buildings, you don’t want them to be blocking the sun when you go to shoot!
3. Follow location tags. Look at tagged locations in your city. Where are other people are taking photos? Is there a cool landmark or view that you could visit to shoot?
4. Color coordinate. Take note of the colors of the space before you shoot. If it’s against a light background, maybe you want to be wearing dark colors to stand out, or maybe you want to match your background for a striking monochrome moment. Make sure you plan ahead for what you’ll be wearing and, if you’re someone who likes a matching feed, make sure this location fits with your brand color scheme!
5. Keep a note or take reference photos. Keep a running list in your phone or notebook of great locations you notice in your city. You can also snap a picture to reference later and keep it in a dedicated album on your phone.
6. Keep an open mind. The perfect photo location doesn’t have to be a huge monument or breathtaking view. A flowering tree or pretty gateway can be all you need to create a vibe, as long as you frame your photo correctly. All of the photos in this post were taken in just a few square feet of lush bamboo in my neighborhood. Even in an ugly place, you can find one spot where the light hits just right and creates a magical photo!