Planning an Outdoor Photo Shoot
This summer we have been fortunate enough to take plenty of outdoor photos. You may have seen some of our photos posted for Sinful Sunday. Many have asked how we find the locations for the photographs and how we find the time, fitting it around our family life. So I thought I’d write about how we find our locations.
Everybody’s Situation is Different
I understand that not everyone has the opportunities we have so I will try and write this as inclusively as possible. So I’ll starting by explaining our situation.
We live in a mid terrace house in the suburbs of a city in the east of England. Our home offers very little opportunities, although that hasn’t stopped us taking a few photos outside the house.
Fortunately we live in a fairly rural part of the country and we are a 30 minute drive from the coast, which gives us a few options.
We also have two young children. We have decided to be open about nudity to them, with the aim of being body positive. This means that they do come with us for some of the photoshoots, turning it into a fun family day or evening out. They are getting older though, so we are mindful of our influence on them.
Lay Down the Law
Before beginning any outdoor adventures it’s important to know the rules regarding nudity. In England nudity is legal as long as its not done in a way to cause offence. Other areas of the UK, and the world have different laws so its vital to know where you stand if where you stand is without clothes. There are also differences in publicly and privately owned land so be careful.
Regardless of the law I would suggest a cautious approach. Even if you are comfortable enough to strip off in public, others that could see you may not want to.
Making a plan
So you want to take photos in a place that is conductive to nice pictures, but not somewhere that is so busy that you won’t get an opportunity. If there is a place particularly in mind try going during quieter times.
During the summer time there are plenty of daylight hours in the evening. We have found this a good time to take photos, not only because it is quieter but with a sun setting during the ‘golden hour’ there is a potential for better photos.
A lot of information can be gathered before you go. Make the time to look where you want to go. There are maps, guides and other information online that may prove useful. If time is an issue I would suggest making a timed plan. There may be various locations in a setting that you want to take photos at and it can be very easy to lose track of time.
Let me give you an example of a shoot and the processes that went into it.
Castle Photo Shoot
England is littered with history. There is a variety of historical sites and places which can provide inspiration for photography. Photos can be made more exciting by finding places that create an interesting background. It could just be a woodland or any other natural habitat, but his time I wanted something different.
I started by looking online for some castle ruins. For a few reasons:
– Ruins are generally less maintained than a lot of places, which means less people.
– Ruins create interesting shapes and opportunities to explore.
– You are less likely to pay, sometimes the most interesting places to visit are free of charge.
Having found a place of interest within a somewhat nearby radius we planned to go during an evening. The website stated that it is ‘open during reasonable daylight hours’. This vague description means that it more than likely doesn’t shut, they just advise not to go at night.
I also looked at some reviews. Reviews tell you some information that may be important, such as how busy it is or the best places to visit. They may even come with photos so you can think of the sort of pictures you want before you go.
‘Tranquil, serene and in the middle of nowhere! Nice ruin with moat. Kids will enjoy, although no toilets shop or cafe, but to be honest that makes a nice change. Good size car park.’
If you are travelling by car then you will need to think about where you are going to park. Some locations could involve a walk so make sure that you are prepared. If a car isn’t available and public transport is your option then be sure to check distances and timetables.
Through many narrow country roads and a gravel drive through a farm we arrived. There was one other car there but a couple soon turned up and left. We were alone.
With only one entrance in and out it was unlikely that people would turn up unexpectedly. But to make sure we sat down and had a picnic (snacks are important) with our children.
After 30 minutes, 1 other visitor. We could hear them coming so would know if anyone else was to visit we had time to escape. It was now time to take some photos.
There are many possibilities for finding a location for photos no matter where you are. As well as looking online, at websites, pictures, Google Street view for ideas why not go out and explore? Sometimes you get luckily and find a place perfect for a cheeky photo.
The biggest piece of advice if you’re planning an outdoor photo shoot I can give is to have fun. As much planning goes in to finding the right location there is no use being disappointed if the images don’t turn out how you like them too. Enjoy the moment, there is beauty in being outdoors. If it doesn’t work out, then at least you’ll have had a fun time outside. I’m no professional photographer, but I get a lot of enjoyment from the shoots we have, seeing littlegem’s naked skin in nature is a joy to be a part of.
Castle adds another location to our naughty scvenger hunt