I would honestly say the hardest part of my job is finding ideal locations for our blog photoshoot sessions. I know I know, that might seem like such a simple job; but when push comes to shove I would much rather work on the strategic growth, photo editing and advertising side of my business than the nitty gritty creative stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I still love getting creative, in fact, I’m quite obsessive about staging a shoot, writing content that brings value to you all and showcasing the best and I mean the BEST that New England has to offer, but with all that being said my heart is still focused more or less on the creativity of building a business.
Personally, I believe in setting goals for yourself and your business, and one of the biggest goals on my checklist, is to one day hire a creative lead dedicated to organizing the planning and scheduling of my blog photoshoots; but until that day comes, scouting blog photoshoot locations is just one of the many jobs I get to juggle. Now, while it’s not my favorite job it’s an essential role in the creation of my blog’s content and is something every blogger should be considering too. Below I go into depth about the three criteria I’ve created, when hunting for the ideal photoshoot location and some of the ups and downs I tackle along the way.
The Three Criteria For Finding Your Next Blog Photoshoot Location:
Criteria #1 | Lighting: When push comes to shove lighting is simply another form of branding in the blogging business. Some creatives shoot in full sunlight, some shoot facing the sun, some shoot with backlighting, some with reflected lighting and some simply just opt for the shade. Lighting is actually an element content creators use, to help tell a story and give their image a specific aesthetic. As you can see above, I shoot images in all forms of lighting, but if you follow me on Instagram, then I’m sure you already know which lighting I prefer. Overall, my images are more conservative and prim, so I prefer having the sun either backlight me OR no lighting at all by positioning myself in complete shade. I do this because it allows me to shoot without having to wear sunglasses, while allowing my camera to pick up some of the earth’s more natural tones, like brown, dark green and orange which I enjoy working with. If I’m being honest, I’ll even go as far as scheduling shoots on cloudier days, where I know I’ll be able to escape the harsh and dramatic lighting other influencers love and adore.
Criteria #2 | Colors: As you know by now, I run a New England lifestyle blog which focuses on the traditions and charms of New England living. Capturing the story of New England’s seasons is an essential part of what I do and allows me to keep my blog and content feeling fresh. One of the ways I showcase seasonal living is by seeking out the colors that embody that season. For instance, if you scroll over to my summer posts, you’ll be sure to see my feed filled with brown shuttered homes, blue hydrangeas, red dresses, and white sunglasses; it’s my oh so patriotic color story for summer. Yet come mid-September you’ll start to see yellow replace the once prominent blues, and burgundy replacing the once prominent reds; until October hits and you find yourself knee deep in orange, brown, olive and taupe. Color is another story-telling element I use, and in fact, is actually one of the most important components I focus on when it comes to picking my shoot locations. Color keeps your story-telling cohesive and sometimes I even travel with extra pumpkins, mums and hay bales to add to a home or backdrop if the location is too good to pass up.
Criteria #3 | Depth: The final element I look for in picking a photoshoot location is depth or interest. The blogging industry is very different from when I first started, and with so many creatives it can be hard to stand out. With that being said, I want my backdrops to bring as much value as possible to my readers because frankly a lot fewer people are reading. People are gazing over captions, skimming through blog posts and skipping through videos, so it’s important for me to make sure the backdrop speaks to my audience just as much as my outfit, lipstick color, and shoes. Personally, I like to find historic homes in New England to shoot in front of, to tie in the traditions and charms of New England that this platform is based on. However, I’ve seen bloggers shoot at stylish restaurants, epic travel locations or even inside decked out homes. By placing your subject in a location that isn’t one dimensional, like that classic white brick wall shot, helps to tell your brand’s story and draw engagement. Am I standing in front of a house in your town? Is that blogger eating at a restaurant that you’re dying to get the name of? Or a cafe you think would be Instagram worthy? The bottom line is taking pictures in a location that has depth and speaks to the audience will be sure to make your content unique whilst getting your audience engaged; which is key to growth in this business.
Oh boy, that was a lot of information thrown your way. I hope this post inspires you to take some extra time out of your day when it comes to picking locations. In fact, sometimes I’ll even scout locations a week or two before shooting, so I know exactly where we want to go if I need to get a few outfits shot. All and all I’d love to hear your tips and criteria for photo shoot days and if you have any other blogging related topics you’d like me to cover in the future.
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