By Anna Gay on | No Comments
I’m pretty sure we have all been in this situation, at least once: you’re hired for a shoot, and the location is far from aesthetically pleasing.
Take a moment to look at the scene, visualizing angles that will make your composition more interesting. Sometimes, changing your perspective and shooting from a higher, or lower angle than you would normally shoot will make all the difference in the world, and will also help take attention away from the boring aspects of the location.
If you are photographing people, try shooting with a wide aperture in order to blur out the location, and bring focus to your subject. If you are not photographing people, look for interesting details in the location, and focus in on those details, rather than the scope of the scene.
Here is a great post on experimenting with focus!
If you have a flash, or any type of studio light, a little bit of light can go a long way in upping the interest factor in your photos. Experiment with high and low key light, and also, similar to focus, look for interesting details in the location to accentuate with lighting.
A location may be uninteresting at one time of day, but at a different time of day, it may look completely different. Try shooting during the golden hour – either early in the morning, or late in the evening, to achieve golden, hazy light.
Or, think about how the scene would look photographed at night, shot with a long exposure.
When in doubt, try editing your image in Lightroom and/or Photoshop!
Keep in mind that you shouldn't over-edit photos taken in a boring location. If you do over-edit, it can appear as though you are over-compensating, and end up actually drawing more attention to your uninteresting location.
Keep it simple – see how the image looks in black and white, or try your hand at (extremely minimal) HDR, in order to bring out more highlights and shadows.
These are just a few of the many possibilities for making a location appear more interesting. Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share?
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Anna Gay is a portrait photographer based in Athens, GA and the author of the dPS ebook The Art of Self-Portraiture. She also designs actions and textures for Photoshop. When she is not shooting or writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, and their two cats, Elphie and Fat Cat.