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I'm the lady behind the lens, ready for all your photographic needs &
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With coffee in hand, I provide a range of photographic services, from weddings & unions to headshots and small business branding. As a stage performer turned photographer, I give special commitment to being intentional, and making you feel seen and comfortable throughout the entire process.

Hey, hey! Sarah here.

man and woman pose on rock at middletown overlook in burnt orange dress and blue jean button up at sunset

6 Tips for Choosing a Photoshoot Location

Maryland Lifestyle Photographer

Choosing a photoshoot location can feel daunting! It’s like that human brain thing where the more choices you have, the more stressed you get.

I’ve put together a simple list of six prompts to help you start figuring out where you want your photoshoot location to be! If you’re working with me, we’ll talk about this during our planning process to make sure it’s everything you want!

woman in purple flowery dress piggy back on fiance against sunlit woods

1. Meaningful Places

I always like to first ask if there are any meaningful places to you, your significant other, family, etc. that hold importance. Sometimes it’s your favorite coffee shop, the place you met, or a park your family frequents!

When we feel comfortable or “at home” (I mean, we could do an in-home session!), it’ll translate through the lens. And why not spend another day at your favorite spot?

This can help to narrow down locations, even if it’s like, “I love Baltimore”. Listen, that’s a great starting point.

couple at georgetown dc photoshoot location popping champagne

2. Somewhere You’ve Wanted to Explore

Another great way to begin is making a list of places you’ve wanted to go but just haven’t gotten the chance to. After your shoot, you can keep exploring! I mean why not make it a day, right?

This could be a section of a city, an outdoor location, a theme park. There is no wrong answer. Unless there are weird smells, that’s probably a wrong answer for everyone involved.

couple walks over rocks at middletown overlook photoshoot location holding hands

3. Other humans, or Nah?

If you know you are someone who’s nerves are heightened by the presence of strangers, then choosing locations that are more intimate might be the gold! Monuments are all well and good, but unless you get there at the crack of dawn, you’ll probably be surrounded by a lot of people. I’ll be making sure it looks like you’re alone, but it might get a little comfy.

Gardens and venues that have a large grounds, or side streets off a main strip are perfect because they give you the best of both worlds. And, of course, anything in nature!

black and white photo of mother, daughter, and grandmother at abingdon vineyards

4. Lighting!

If you’re in it for that sweet sunset (*does weather dance*), the higher up the better! Photoshoot locations that are shrouded by trees or buildings are still incredible, but it’s good to remember that the lighting will be different. The same goes for the time of day! I love scheduling photoshoots for sunrise or sunset for that sweet glow light, but harsh light can look so amazing when we play with it!

5. Access

Annapolis Rocks and Sugarloaf Mountain are two locations that come to mind when I think about rocky sunset points. They also both require a hike, so thinking about your trek is important! If you’ve got a family with a toddler, bathroom proximity and how long it takes to get there might come into play.

Also, some gardens and locations require a fee to get in, so just another thing to keep in mind.

double exposure of pregnant couple at ruins of st johns in harpers ferry photoshoot location

6. What’s your type?

If you’ve gotten this far and you’re still not sure, I like to send my clients a lovely list to choose from to narrow down our options! We’ve got:

  • Color Pop
  • Winery/Vineyard
  • Mountaintop
  • Gardens/Arboretum
  • Farm/Open Fields
  • Waterfall
  • Lake or Park
  • Metro/Downtown
  • Coffee Shop
  • Woods/Forest
  • In-Home

I know that was an intense list, one inspired by many other photographers work, but it’s a good way to narrow down what you do and don’t want!

couple twirls in front of mural in georgetown dc

So Many Right Answers

At the end of the day, there are so many amazing photos that await you in any of the locations you choose! I think planning a photoshoot should be hella fun, and putting a little extra thought into your photoshoot location can be the cherry on top! 🙂

Check out the blog for more resources and to gather ideas for your photoshoot!

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  1. […] your own session and not sure where to begin location scouting? Check out my blog post on getting the creative ball rolling! And check out my blog for more engagement sessions & love […]

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