Many photographers who shoot portraits use a small number of favorite locations out of habit, returning again and again because they know they’ll get good results. Yet no matter how much we might enjoy our go-to locations, sooner or later we all crave a fresh look. Why not inject energy and life into your portraits by seeking new locations?
Some outdoors locations make excellent subjects for photography by themselves. Yet they also make beautiful backdrops for portraiture. As long as the weather permits an outdoors shoot, natural backdrops are available almost anytime and anywhere.
When we step outdoors, the variables of light, weather, and season dictate subject matter, whereas in the studio we get to control everything. This lack of control can be frustrating at times but the unpredictability of nature is why shooting scenics can bring such great rewards. You never know what you’re going to get, the mundane or the sublime.
At its best photography is inspired by light. Whether it’s a rich shade of purple on a canyon for two minutes following sunset, or the warm cast of tungsten lamps on a model’s bare skin, it’s the light that guides our work. It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting indoors or out, my focus on finding great light is the same.