Lisa-Marie McGinn

AD­VEN­TURES OF A FASH­ION PHO­TOG­RA­PHER LOOK AGAIN

Practical Photography (UK) - - Welcome - Lisa-Marie is a Scot­tish-born fash­ion and beauty pho­tog­ra­pher based in Al­berta, Canada. Her work is reg­u­larly pub­lished in glossy mag­a­zines, and clients in­clude Elinchrom, Canon and Vis­tek. lisamariem­cginn.com

Lisa finds lo­ca­tions that no one else would look twice at.

NO ONE WOULD THINK THIS WAS A DOG PARK, I thought to my­self as I flipped through im­ages on my cam­era. Find­ing lo­ca­tions had al­ways been a strug­gle for me, es­pe­cially in the be­gin­ning. When I started shoot­ing fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy, I thought you needed ex­trav­a­gant lo­ca­tions that would cost a for­tune to rent. We have some gor­geous ar­chi­tec­ture in our city of Al­berta, but it was never quite what I was look­ing for, or it had been used so many times be­fore by other pho­tog­ra­phers that I wanted some­thing dif­fer­ent.

As I started fall­ing in love with shal­low depth-of-field and in­cor­po­rat­ing that into my shoots, I re­alised that I didn’t need these grand lo­ca­tions af­ter all. I could ac­tu­ally shoot any­where and make it work for my theme. As pho­tog­ra­phers, I think we see the world dif­fer­ently and I re­ally started look­ing around for places that no one else would think of, as with care­ful use of depth-offield, edit­ing and over­all styling, I could make it work – I could make it look like some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

I nor­mally stay around my city, but in the fall of 2016, I branched out a lit­tle and found a beau­ti­ful sun­flower gar­den just a few hours away. I’d never been there be­fore, so I wasn’t re­ally sure what to ex­pect. When I ar­rived with my team, we were pre­sented with a long line of sun­flow­ers, and even though they weren’t as high as I’d hoped, the lo­ca­tion turned out to be beau­ti­ful. Once we’d fin­ished at that lo­ca­tion, we drove around, keep­ing our eyes open for some­thing else that stood out. We even­tu­ally found a run­down camp­site that had a small lake right be­side it. To the nor­mal eye, it prob­a­bly wasn’t any­thing spe­cial, but I saw some­thing so lovely, es­pe­cially with the amaz­ing golden light.

Those par­tic­u­lar im­ages have turned out to be some of my favourites, yet if I’d pulled back a lit­tle to take in more of the scenes in front of me, you’d have been greeted with a bro­ken fire pit and a scratched-up bench. This is a prime ex­am­ple of find­ing lo­ca­tions that no one else would think of, and see­ing their potential to help tell the story you want.

A few weeks later, I was pho­tograph­ing an­other creative shoot and I hon­estly had no idea about lo­ca­tions. All I knew for sure is that I wanted golden hour light, and some­thing whim­si­cal and flo­ral. There’s a dog park not far from my home that I’ve passed by many times, but never ac­tu­ally stopped to en­joy with my puppy. Some­thing told me that I needed to take a look. We pulled into the car park, and the model and I fol­lowed the golden light – I had no idea where I was go­ing, but I rea­soned that when I found the right spot, I’d just know.

We even­tu­ally came across a few acres of weeds and I re­alised I’d found the per­fect place for this ethe­real editorial. We caught the light at the per­fect time, and when I looked at the im­ages it looked like the model was in a sea of flo­rals – it was ex­actly the look I was aim­ing to achieve. If I’d have pulled back from those shots, you’d have seen dogs jump­ing and run­ning all around and peo­ple on bi­cy­cles!

If I could go back and tell my new­bie pho­tog­ra­pher self to stop over­think­ing and start look­ing, it would have saved me so much dis­ap­point­ment. There’s beauty all around – you just need to re­ally open your eyes to find it.

“FIND LO­CA­TIONS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO HELP TELL THE STORY YOU WANT”

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