ADVENTURES OF A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER LOOK AGAIN
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”