Last night, I was hit with insomnia. (Probably due to the cup of coffee I had at 6 pm + noisy neighbors. I'm guessing they aren't reading this, but they know who they are) Naturally, I stared at the ceiling thinking of ideas for my portrait series/my future career. I've hit a road block recently, and haven't been super excited about my portrait work as of late. I have been having trouble coming up with locations for my shoots despite having a wealth of untapped potential all around me.
The problem was me. I've always looked at locations for what they are rather than what they could be. In the past, I've always seen the location of a shoot as a roadblock to what I wanted to do. If the place wasn't that great, there was no helping my photo.
Last night I did something I haven't done for a while: I hit the books. There's a book which I bought last year that I highly recommend if you want to get into stylized portrait photography or fashion photography. It's called Mastering the Model Shoot: Everything a Photographer Needs to Know Before, During, and After the Shoot by Frank Doorhof. It's been a super helpful resource for trying to creatively and practically set up a shoot. In the book, the author shows us his favorite free places to shoot and the photos he's been able to shoot in them. These places include:
1. Old office
3. The forest (there's tons of that around here)
4. Skate Park
5. The desert
6. Top of a building
7. Your own garden
8. A lake/water
11. Agricultural areas
12. Industrial areas
14. Staircases (gonna use one tonight for a shoot)
15. Brick wall (kind of burnt out on this one)
17. Abandoned cities/streets
18. Your hotel
19. Hotel Room
Each photo he showed with the location was pretty awesome and made me realize that with the right lighting and composition, you can literally shoot anywhere at anytime. I knew this, but I had some weird block that kept me from actually applying it to my work. So today, I made reminders/a cheat sheet for myself to kind of have an organized logbook of different locations to choose for my project. Hopefully, it will make my brainstorming sessions a little more efficient.
I went out with my Polaroid Colorpack and shot photos of different places that can plant a creative seed in my mind when preparing a shoot, added them to a field notes notepad, and then included some crude notes to give me some keywords for each location.
Already, this new system has completely revolutionized how I do shoots. Knowing that I can look through some places and come up with ideas and visually see a piece of the location will help make planning a lot easier. I highly recommend this system if you're hoping to up your photoshoot came. When you need to come up with a sheer bulk of photos for a year, anything that makes planning easier is extremely welcome.