How to Create Beautiful Portraits Anywhere

 

Have you ever seen an image and thought "I could never do that" or "Why don't my images look like that"?? 

Most people have.

But this idea may be the only thing holding you back. You can use almost any environment to create beautiful images if you know what to look for and how to best capture it. This series was created using foliage in Washington, DC in a busy part of town, and you might be surprised to see our location choices!

floral_moody_redhead_portrait.jpg

Our first image:
Shot with Sony a7rII
85mm
f/4.5
ISO 320
1/200th

Aaaaaand the location....

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 11.14.53 AM.jpg

We used these bushes with entirely natural light at around 5:30pm, a couple hours before sunset. They were located in the parking lot of a bank on a busy street, but they were the best looking flowers we found after a week of storms in the area. 

To make the most of this spot, I knew I wanted to transport the viewer to someplace that....well wasn't a bank parking lot. To do this, I had to shoot with a longer focal length to ensure the surrounding area wouldn't show in the frame (I almost always shoot with an 85mm so it was already on my camera). The color of the flowers was also a consideration. They were bright pink, but I knew I'd be able to adjust the color to match the coral of her lipstick. This kind of close shot also gave me the opportunity to highlight her gorgeous freckles! 

After a somewhat public wardrobe change, we shot this on a residential street:

redhead_dark_moody_portrait.jpg

Shot with Sony a7rII
85mm
f/4.0
ISO 100
1/160th

And this location: 

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 11.18.21 AM.png

Yes, our model was kneeling next to the tiny bushes off the sidewalk! This image was actually one of my least favorite RAW images, but with a little color work it turned out to be one of my favs out of the whole set. Again, I knew a longer focal length with a focus on expression would be what would make this image work. 

What are some of your favorite images that have surprising locations?? I'd love to see your examples in the comments. 

And here are more from this series! Kacey, my client, is getting more into modeling and was a complete natural.
Model: Kacey Templin (@kcwhatididthere)
Hair&Makeup: Illusions of Georgetown (www.illusionsofgeorgetown.com)