You don’t need to book a photography studio to get awesome photos, but there is a time and a place for it. When planning a photoshoot, how do you decide on a rad location that will amplify your awesome and give you versatility for different looks?

Well, as a photographer that’s dabbled in branding, portraits, real estate, pet photos, and more, I have some words of wisdom to share. Read on to learn more about finding the perfect location for your photoshoot.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Location For Your Photoshoot

If your brand is bright, full of light, and has dashes of colour, an all-black office with rustic decor isn’t ideal. Of course, you can make it work, but it won’t be you. These are my top 5 tips when scouting for an excellent spot.

Tip 1: Choose a meaningful location

By meaningful location, I don’t necessarily mean grandma’s house. A meaningful place could be somewhere outdoors that fills your cup, such as a nearby forest, beach, or field.

  • Do you have a local coffee shop where the baristas know you by name?
  • Is there a coworking space or community that you frequent?
  • How’s the lighting at the yoga studio you’ve basically adapted as a second home?

Anywhere that energizes you or feels like a second home is a great place to start. How peaceful does Kit look in the photo above? They spend a lot of time at this particular waterfront, so we incorporated it into their session. What place makes your heart happy? Start there.

Tip 2: Consider the lighting and spacing you want

Throw tip one out the window if your meaningful location is dark, cramped, and you don’t have any artificial lighting.

Small spaces require a wider angle lens to capture them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of zoomed-in photos of your space. However, a wide-angle lens isn’t flattering for people. You know that fish-eye look where your face appears smaller around the jaw but your eyes are popping out? That’s what a wide angle does.

Since you want your photographer to back up enough to capture you in the space, get the detail shots, and leave some whitespace for your website photos, you may want to ditch the tiny, windowless rooms.

When it comes to light, natural light is always best. Try choosing a location with a few windows, or if you’re working with a professional photographer, ask about their lighting equipment. They’ll likely be able to work some magic if they have a flash or other accessories on hand.

However, you don’t need fancy gadgets to take a good photo. If you’re trying to take a few snapshots of your products on your iPhone or camera, be sure to put the product facing the window. I didn’t use artificial lighting to achieve the photos you see below.


I had a big window in front of the products and a window to the left. I didn’t love the shadows coming in on the right, so I put a reflector there to fill in the light.

You don’t need to buy a reflector – white cardboard would do, too!

Tip 3: Think about the weather impact

This tip is self-explanatory. If you’re keen on having an outdoor photoshoot, you’ll want to have some backups for shelter to pivot if the weather takes a turn. When planning for an outdoor shoot, avoid 12-3 pm like the plague or at least know where the pockets of shade are so you can still get even light.

When capturing Jaime, we played with some shots in the harsh light because we liked the rainbow chair. If it were an overcast day, it would’ve provided some nice, even light. But we adapted, took some photos in the harsh light anyway, and then found some shade for the rest.

The best thing to do is map out where the sun is in the sky, what type of light it provides, and how that will enhance or hinder your photos. Blue hour and golden hour are my favourites!

Tip 4: Plan around your brand colours

Do you have a signature brand colour or palette that you stay consistent with? This is an important consideration when choosing your photo location! If you’re typically posting neutrals and suddenly have an oversaturated green space in some of your photos, it may not be as recognizable to your audience.

When Jenn told me she wanted us to have our session at Vortex, I basically screamed. My response was that it was pure JEN-ergy and the perfect fit. The vibe matched, the space could compliment her bold colours, and it had a fabulous balance of neutrals and greenery. For anyone that knows Jenn, you know there’s a plant and pop of colour nearby or in her zoom backdrop.

Doesn’t this vibe totally suit her?

Tip 5: Choose a photo shoot location that suits the style and purpose of your project

Before choosing your location, you want to reflect on the purpose of the photoshoot. Is it for business? Just for fun? Showcasing love or putting the spotlight on a product? The key to a successful session is diving into your why before coming up with the how.

When Caitlin came to me for branding photos, the local studio with several “setups” was a no-brainer since it offered plenty to play with, and she hadn’t been there before. However, when it came to capturing her love for her dog, Kaia, we found something better.

I knew of a quiet waterfront with a little beach and a lot of privacy. It allowed us to get playful, and Kaia loved the space she had to run around. As you can see, two locations and two totally different vibes.

Choosing a location for your photoshoot doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re handy with a camera or iPhone, you’ll have tons of opportunities. However, if you’re trying to choose a spot for a brand photoshoot where you’re investing in hair, makeup, and a professional photographer, I understand why you’re contemplating your options. Remember these tips to nail the ultimate vibe that will amplify your awesome.

If you need help choosing a location and are in the Southern Georgian Bay area, contact me for a list of my favourite spots.

Where’s your favourite spot to take photos? Where would you go if you could take a picture anywhere, budget unlimited? For me, it would be Banff. Share your ideas with the community in the comments below.