Guide to choosing your outdoor photo shoot location

You find a photographer whose work you really like, and then your heart sinks as you read the line "your shoot will take place at a location of your choice which is convenient to you". You immediately start thinking where on earth will I choose? Is my garden good enough? I don't know anywhere that will produce those gorgeous pictures I've fallen in love with. Help!!

Don't panic! I promise you, it isn't as difficult or as scary as you think to find the perfect location for your photo shoot, whether that's for dog photography or portrait photography. Your photographer should advise you and help you make the decision, but here are a few hints for choosing your outdoor photo shoot location:

It doesn't need to be amazing

Trust me, you don't need a spectacular location for your portrait photo shoot. Your garden is a perfectly suitable location, particularly if you have a few leafy trees or bushes that we can use as a backdrop. Alternatively, if you have a local woodland, park, canal or river these are all great locations for an outdoor shoot. Don't worry about what they look like to you - just let your photographer work their magic!

dog photographer market harborough

Look for colours to enhance the image

This image of Solly in the heather is a great example of using colours to create beautiful images. Here the different colours as the heather changes to grass add interest and texture to the background. They also provide good contrast to the colour of Solly's coat, which means he stands out and can be seen clearly as the focus of the shot. 

Watch out for distractions

Believe me, we've all done it. We've been so focussed on getting a great picture of our dog that we've forgotten to check the rest of the scene - and it's only when you get home you realise there was a dog litter bin or a bright yellow signpost sticking up right in the centre of your shot. Make sure you pay attention to what's around you and choose a background that's free of distractions for your photos

Another reason the image of Solly works so well is that I got down low and took the shot keeping the entire background as the heather & moorland. In this case, a bright sky would have been a distraction which would have pulled attention way from this gorgeous labrador. 

However the sky works in this image of Wilf - the sky is fairly dull which helps to blend it into the background, with the colours again adding interest and, importantly, adding context to where this image has been taken.

How does your garden grow?

Snowdrops, Bluebells, Poppies and autumn leaves - at the appropriate times of year you can get beautiful seasonal images for your outdoor photo shoot. Your photographer may have preferred locations for these, or if not check out local groups for tips on the best places to go.

TOP TIP: Remember certain flowers such as bluebells are protected, however you should be careful not to damage all flowers so that they are there for others to enjoy. Stick to paths and don't pick any plants during your photo shoot

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

You'll hear photographers talk about the Golden Hour. This is the period after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is low in the sky and beautiful soft light will make your portraits absolutely stunning. You might find some locations are better in the morning than the afternoon, or vice versa, so talk to your photographer about the best places for the time of day you've chosen

Make sure it's safe

Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure the location you've chosen is safe. Whether your photo shoot is for your dog or your kids, make sure the location you've chosen is away from busy roads or other hazards. Be aware of any exposed roots in woodland, or canal side dangers that may be around you.

There are so many beautiful places in our countryside that I'm sure you'll find the perfect place for your photo shoot. You may even know of somewhere already! It could be a favourite place or somewhere brand new. 


If you'd like more information about a location photo shoot with me, give me a call on 07930 337914 or send me a email to sandie@sandiepownerphotography.co.uk


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Specialist dog photographer serving Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Rutland and surrounding villages in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire; and further afield
Call 07930 337914 to find out more!