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Teen Fashion Shoot - Finding Inspiration In Difficult Locations

Mover & Shaker

 When thinking of locations to photograph portraits, we often think of locations on a larger scale. We look for locations with the most dramatic scenery or the most overall impact, but we may be overlooking some great opportunities in seemingly less dramatic areas. Some of my favorite portraits were actually photographed in very small, difficult or mundane locations.  I sometimes choose these kinds of locations to get out of my comfort zone and challenge my creativity.

 These photos were created in spaces that at first seemed unappealing- a tiny median in a busy parking area, a small bed of grasses in a downtown area, and a smoke shop next to a restaurant. (I was photographing a 12 year old girl for this shoot, so a smoke shop background was a particularly unappealing choice.)

 The first photo was created in the parking area with the tiny median. The bed of flowers was about 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 '. The model was lying on the sidewalk with just her upper body in the flowers and I had to stand on the asphalt to get the shot. The models' mother stood near the top of her head with my Godox AD400 strobe and parabolic softbox pointed straight at the top of her head to create a soft butterfly light. Camera settings: F2.8 1/250 ISO 100.


 This next image was created in the grass bed. (You can see the size and location in the BTS photo below.) For this image, the strobe was placed to my left, close to the model, and slightly above her eye level. Placing the strobe closer created more dramatic lighting, even though it was a bright sunny day. It was a breezy day, so the wind created a bit of magic with the grasses and the models' hair. Camera settings: F2.8 1/640 ISO 100.


 This image was created using the smoke shop as the background. (You can see the area in the BTS photo below.) The green lights added a cool vibe to the image and complimented her red dress and bag. My strobe was positioned just to my left and fairly close to me. I added a speedlight with a red gel pointed at the shop window for a subtle flare. Camera settings: F2.8 1/400 ISO 200.



bts saya red dress.jpg

BTS saya red dress 2.JPEG


 What are some things you do to challenge your creativity? Have you ever deliberately chosen a difficult/unappealing location to create something cool?

Images created with:  Alpha 7 III (a7III)  FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM (SEL2470GM)


Community Manager
Community Manager

This is so cool! Love the behind the scenes shots. 

Mover & Shaker

Thank you! It was a fun shoot. I like to involve the moms. They have fun doing an activity with their kids, plus they like to take BTS shots like these!

Prime Creator

Nice work, sometimes those difficult locations have the best results!

Thanks Tony!