Want to know where I shoot and tips on how I select locations for photoshoots?
I have lived in London my whole life, and to be quite honest with you, I'm not the biggest fan. I'd rather be on a Greek island lapping up the sun, collecting pebbles and shells, and swimming in the Aegean Sea. But on the other hand, I can't imagine living anywhere else! London has so much to offer, not just for us photographers, but for everyone! There's so much history throughout the city and there are little hidden gems everywhere you look.
I grew up just on the outskirts of London in a place where there wasn't too much around, maybe one corner shop and a few trees. So during my time studying photography in college, I stuck to studio shoots only. I hated location shooting!
I was, and still am, very lazy to be honest... I never wanted to travel around to find locations, or search for models, so I ended up doing a lot of self portraits in the studio. Which I still do now, to be fair!
Towards the end of college, I moved to Camden Town, and this really opened my mind to different possibilities. I bought studio equipment but never had space to actually use it, so this forced me to start shooting out on location.
I started going out and exploring local areas to me, and over time started to venture more into central London, specifically looking out for potential spots to shoot.
So now, the locations
My all time favourite location has to be The Hill Garden and Pergola.
I used to go here as a young child, It's such a beautiful and enchanting place. I love how versatile it is, there are so many different photo opportunities here. I've seen people shooting wedding photos, cosplay, fairytale, fashion... The list goes on!
My next favourite is definitely Primrose Hill.
It's such a stunning location, all the back streets, the mews, the big houses, the parks, the cute cars, the canal, you name it! I'm never disappointed when I shoot here.
I tend to shoot a lot around primrose hill, I know the spots I like and it helps to live close by. It's also a perfect location because it's not super busy (unless it's a hot, sunny day) you're able to move around and shoot freely.
I rarely shoot in the park, I prefer the backstreets as they're quieter.
Next up, Covent Garden.
I have a love hate relationship with Covent Garden... I love it because it has so much to offer in such a small radius, It never fails to impress me! It is definitely the busiest location I choose to shoot at. This is where the hate part of the relationship comes in.
I personally don't like people in the background of my photos as I think it takes away from the focal point of the main subject, although it can give a great effect in other photographer's works.
I usually start off where the little boutique shops are and then make my way towards the river where I like to shoot around the backstreets where it's less crowded.
And finally, Kensington Italian Gardens.
This is such a stunning location, perfect for fashion shoots. As you can see below, I shot with a ballerina/dancer, this location really set the mood for the final result. It compliments the beauty of her talent and skill.
The main reason I love this location is because it doesn't look like it's in the heart of London (hence why its probably called Italian Gardens).
I have another amazing shoot in mind for this location, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled!
- Do not limit yourself to one specific place. What I mean by that is, take a walk around during the shoot. You may be surprised by what you find or where you end up. I always get a better outcome than expected when I move around during a shoot. I find that by limiting your options you end up restricting your creativity and you can become disappointed with the end results (I know this from experience).
- When I'm out, anywhere, I'm always analysing my surroundings and keeping notes of potential locations to shoot. I'll either keep a note/take a photo of the street name, screenshot where I am on maps, or if I know the area well enough then I'll just remember the spot usually.
- Don't let the location be the focal point, let it enhance your subject. If you're shooting fashion, bridal, urban, street etc... You're going to want to find a location that ties the whole look and feel of your shoot together. It's more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and you're bound to end up with effortlessly stunning shots as a result. The background can be distracting or displeasing to the eye if it doesn't compliment the style of the shoot or the model.
- Base the location off the style of the model/subject. I like to plan outfits, hair and makeup before choosing a location. I find it more helpful, like I said in the point before, I want the location to enhance the subject.