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Creating Magical Images From Any Location

If you're like me, and many other photographers, finding new locations can sometimes seem daunting but, in reality, beautiful locations can be found anywhere. It's a matter of changing the way you look at the world around you. Everywhere I go, no matter what I'm doing, there's a part of me looking for areas that are magical when you really, really look at them. It only takes a small area and the right perspective and you can create beautiful images in places others have passed right over.

Here in the first example is my daughter, Bella. This amazing little spot is less than a block away from my house and incredibly easy to miss if you aren't looking for it. An overgrown yard and willow tree spill into the alley entry way and make for an amazing little space to shoot. Here, Bella is tucked into the willows with a hanging branch in each hand. It would be hard to guess this was taken in an alleyway.

The second example is a beautiful image that was very easy to create. We used a children's pool that measured 5 feet 2 inches across. I lined the pool with a large white sheet, filled it with a bit of water, and added less than a gallon of whole milk. We used artificial flowers from our local dollar store and I shot from directly above her. Because we had the pool near the porch for the actual session, I was able to stand on the porch itself and shoot down at her. This lovely image was taken in a completely average backyard.

This third example is simple, but effective. This was taken in Walmart, during a day each month where I document my children from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep. The final image shows my daughter, Bella, with her new shoes framed completely by white negative space. This is simply the floor of the Walmart card aisle.

 I really love this fourth example. This incredible greenery is near one of the busiest streets where I live, tucked behind a small local business. As you can see from the pull-back, the area is nothing incredible on it's own, but, when used correctly, it has fabulous potential for an amazing series of images. The greens here compliment this red-headed model especially well, but would work for a multitude of subjects.

The fifth example is a great illustration of finding lush colors and growth in a downtown or urban area. This small area of landscaping provided a beautiful pop of colors to compliment my subjects, a mother nursing her child. As you can see from the pull-back, this is right in front of a bank, tucked between a busy downtown street and our public library.

Examples six, seven, and eight are all adorable images, all taken in your average alley way, garbage cans and all. It's all about the way you frame your subject, where you place your light in reference to your subject, and the choices you make during exposure. You can see in each of these images, I've used the the greenery in the alley to my advantage, creating lush backgrounds or in the case of the B&W edit, the greenery becomes a deep, black background to frame the subject.

Examples nine and ten are some of my favorite recent work. These were taken in an average backyard with little landscaping, a very simple and lived-in area. You can see I was able to create a pair of beautiful, touching images of a child and his chicken.

I hope these examples help you begin to see your world in a new and intriguing way. Amazing and fresh locations are always right at your fingertips. Go look, you'll find them. Happy exploring! 

Note: All of these fabulous edits were achieved using Pretty Presets.  Most edited with Summer Limited Edition Collection, Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow, Pretty Presets Workflow and Perfect Portrait Brushes.

My name is Jesse Blake and I am a photographer based out of Billings, Montana. I believe life as a photographer is about finding and celebrating the good in the world, in ourselves, and in others. Find me on Facebook or visit my website. Let's be friends.  Follow me on Facebook and visit my website.


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