When planning a photoshoot, I have always considered the location of the shoot to be one of the most important considerations. Of course, there is a lot to be said for the outfits and accessories and the lighting and the angles and the season, etc. - all of those things are equally important. But the location is the one aspect of the shoot that kind of binds all the other parts together. Does that make sense?
Okay, so here are a few thoughts on location that I consider rules to live by...
1. A beautiful location does not necessarily make a good location
2. An ugly location does not necessarily make a bad location
3. Careful consideration must be given to ensure that the location is appropriate for the type of shoot you're doing
4. Instinct or planning - whichever works best for you - is vital to ensure that the location provides a suitable backdrop for the image(s) you're planning to create
5. The location is generally not the focus of the photoshoot, but rather it serves to complement the focus of the photoshoot
Okay, so quickly - the image above is an example of a location that complements the subject and allow me to elaborate:
1. The greens in the background provide an attractive contrast to the color of her guitar
2. The sides of the bridge provide contrasting angles and perspective which draws the viewers' eyes to the subject
3. The increasing distance of the background from the subject allows the shallow depth of field to "melt" the details and draw the viewers' eyes to the subject
6. With portrait photography ( at the very least ) the location should never be selected for it's own beauty, but rather for it's ability to complement the subject - remember that!!! Very important!
All things that contribute to the overall quality of the image - and that is without even considering the beautiful subject of the image herself!!!
I really could go on and on about selecting locations, etc. but there is enough to say to fill a book - actually, there are a lot of books on the subject - so if you want more details you would probably be better served by reading a book about it.
Okay, so with all of those disjointed thoughts out of the way, let me say this - I know many, many, many amazing locations for photography! I am not selfish about that and am happy to share any of them with anyone who wants to know about them. With that in mind, let me say two things -
1. I've created a brief list of locations that I use a lot - I don't have the energy to list EVERY location I've used, nor could I remember them all if I did
2. Feel free to ask me about the location I used for any image you see on my website or blog, etc. If I can remember where it was, I will tell you!
Here is a short list of spots I use a lot:
The Franklin Park Conservatory ( the grounds, not the interior )
Jeffrey Mansion ( the grounds, not the interior )
OSU Mirror Lake area
Neighborhoods immediately east of OSU Campus
Old Warehouse District along Nationwide Blvd
North Bank Park and environs
Ohio Historical Village
Hilliard Historical Village
Innis Woods ( I hate to list that one because it is sooooooooooo overused, but I do occasionally shoot there... )
Creekside Park in Gahanna
Everal Barn & Homestead
Hayden Falls ( part of Griggs Reservoir )
Old Bridge at Orange Rd. and Olentangy River ( they've recently completely fenced it off, however )
Liberty Presbyterian Church
The Scioto Mile
The North Market
Cliff Park ( next to Wittenberg Campus )
Abandoned Amphitheater near Mt. Vernon ( I can find it in person, but couldn't show tell you how to get there... )
Hell's Gate ( in Clintonville )
Giant Storm Sewer and nature area ( that was kinda hard to describe - but it's near Bethel Rd. )
Abandoned Mill ( near the Scioto River )
Okay, so that is a short list of the wonderful spots I know of and where I shoot. There are many more!