Location, Location, Location
My most frequently asked question lately is “Where should I take pictures?” I find this question very tricky, because while location is very important to how the photos will look in the end result, I want the locations to be something of value to the client as well. Each and every person I work with is unique and different, so I want them to have a unique location. This is one of the great things about being an “on-location” photographer. I decided I would write this blog entry to try to aid in the process, but I am afraid that I talk too much and this entry will end up being quite long with not a lot of photos (the worst type of blog entries). So, I will start with some tips on choosing a location, then at the very end I will give some suggestions at the very end.
Part 1: How to Decide
1. What style do you want?
Think about yourself and the other people you will be taking pictures with? Think about what you like and your personality? Do you want the shoot to be country, modern, grungy, industrial, natural, business-like, beachy, etc?
What find of feeling of you wan to portray in your photos? Do you want it to be fun, simple, colorful, exciting, romantic, elegant, loving, sophisticated? The answer to this can also determine how you dress and possibly some of the props used.
The first things I look for when I take pictures is good light, the second thing is interesting textures and colors in backgrounds. This can come in many different forms, even as simple as a brick wall in parking lot.
Part 2: Places
Choosing a place can also depend on where you live and how far you want to drive. Some of these places are ideas and some are specific places. Hopefully, you find them more helpful than overwhelming.
Remember, the most important thing is that the shoot is at a place where you feel that you can relax, have fun, and be yourself! I have not been to all of the places listed below, but they are places that I think would work well, have worked well, or I have heard others recommend!
Top of Parking Garage
Themed Shoots (70′s, 80′s, Vintage, at a Diner, etc)
Coffee Shop, Ice Cream Shop, Boutique Candy Shop
Hermann Park (Requires a $100+ Permit, that isn’t strictly enforced, so taking photos here can be risky but lots of people do it)
Discovery Green (Stricter enforcement of permits, but permits only $10)
Top of Houston Parking Garage
Theater District/ Hard Rock Cafe
Commerce, Main, Travis Streets
Sabine Street Bridge
University of Houston Campus
Waterwall (Might also require permit although not strictly enforced)
Houston Museums and Houston Zoo/Riding Train Outside Zoo (extra costs for museum admission and train)
Sunset/University Drive along Big Oak Trees
Museum of Fine Art
Eleanor Tinsely Park
Donovan Park (Playground Photos)
On the Metro Rail
Kite Flying/ With Balloons/Holding Lollipops
League City/Friendswood/Pearland/Clear Lake:
Friendswood Lakes Park
Kemah Boardwalk (Carnival there too!)
Armand Bayou Nature Center (Admissions Costs)
Clear Lake Park
Randolph Carter Park
Alvin Train Station
Bay Area Park
Spring/Humble/North of Houston:
Old Town Spring
Moody Gardens (Admissions extra)
Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry
Railroad Museum (entry Fee)
Michel B. Menard House
U.S. Custom House
Old Historical Society Buildings
Texas City Dike
Dewberry Farms (Admission Price)
Mary Jo Peckham Park
Old Katy with Caboose
South of Houston:
Out under the trees
George Ranch Historical Park (entry fee)
Varner Hogg Plantation (entry fee)
Oyster Creek Ranch
Sugarland Memorial Park
REMEMBER: These are the benefits of an on location shoot, be creative! Have fun with it!