Choosing a smart location!

When going to take pictures you always want to have a location in mind! Location, location location!  Although I may know of a great location, it might be overdone and I also love trying out new places that clients suggestConsider the style you're looking for and what your interests are.  Think outside the box and try something that hasn't been done before.  Another thing to consider is the willingness to travel to a spot. You may know of a wonderful spot, but if you have to go under a bridge, through a creek, and a mile down the road to get to it, you should check to see if it's safe to carry all the equipment through. If you're not sure, look for another place. Feel free to consult me about the location you have in mind if you are not sure. Take into account that some places might be crowded and you may feel uncomfortable posing in front of many strangers, so keep in mind what which would be better for you: public or private locations?

As for how many people will be in your photos, a small venue would be perfect for a small amount of people, but always keep in mind that your shoot should take place in a location that has plenty of room to move and different choices for different looks.

Wanting something unique? Scout a fun location!  To give you an idea, laundromats have been popular, but that is being overdone in my opinion.  Never assume you can just show up to a place you found and use it for your shoots. Ask if it's on someone's property and make sure you have access before the shoot!  Some locations may have restrictions or require permits, and some may charge fees. In some cases, I can take care of the permits, but all fees are the client's responsibility.

Make sure clothing coincides with the background. For example, if you are wanting to shoot in a very green, woodsy area, it would be best to avoid wearing green. I am more than happy to help you with clothing suggestions. Another thing to consider is the condition of your background. You want it to look clean and avoid telephone poles/lines, or other things that can clog up your photo. If you have your home in mind, find a place free of clutter, inside and out. Watch out for the time of day you are going to take photos. Where will the sun will be? I will not photograph you directly facing a full sun! That would cause you to squint and cast a  harsh contrast on your face. I prefer the sun to be angled behind, to your side,  or possibly the front.

With your horses:
I prefer - though it is not required - to photograph horses where they are stabled or a place they are familiar with, as they usually act better!

Places with full sun and preferably lots of sky is best for taking images of just your horse, but for horse/person portraits, shade is preferred, though not required. It's usually best to take conformation shots of your horse on well-manicured grass or on another flat, clean surface with a clean background with a lot of sky and no distractions. For horse/human portraits, long grass and trees are great! Inside the barn works great, too, but just make sure it is clear of clutter. The location should allow plenty of range so we can shoot far away using the 200 mm lens. 

I love cloudy days and even days with a slight drizzle, so please do not reschedule because of such conditions. When scheduling  always consider the weather and have a backup plan if rescheduling is not an option. If the weather plans for wind, does the location have a spot that would provide a good wind-block? In the summer, the morning is cooler and when we have very hot days, I will not do outdoor shoots any other time of day.  In the winter, mornings may be chilly, which I love, but dress accordingly.

Remember you, your family, and your pets are the main characters of the shoot, and, in most cases, the background is not.  Depending on the number of subjects, I will not need much background to make a good image. The light source is more important sometimes.

Your Checklist Summary:
1) Location: style, travel, weather, clutter
2) Coordinating Clothing
3) Light
4) Background
5) Safety
6) Main subjects
7) Consult with your photographer