tonia johnston photography | Location, location, location

Location, location, location

September 14, 2015

DSC_7087DSC_7087Location choice for senior pictures. Gilbert Arizona. Tonia Johnston Photography


  One of the hardest parts of planning a portrait session is location. It's kind of important. Not only does it effect what kind of images we can get and how they look but it also effects how you feel during your session.

  Picture this - you've picked out your favorite outfits. The ones that make you feel confident and powerful. The ones that make you feel like you are the best looking person in town when you wear them. You can picture yourself walking down the streets of downtown, wind softly blowing , sunglasses on. You are a city person. You know it, your family knows it, your friends know it. The big day of the session comes and you find yourself standing in a cow pasture at the edge of town and you're wondering what went wrong. It stinks, you're uncomfortable and it's all you can think about the entire session. When it's time to view your images you're wondering why you don't look happy and why the images don't truly look like YOU.

 Don't let that happen.

  When we are together for our consultation we always cover the topic of location. I won't let the above example happen to you, I promise. The one thing you need to remember is that you have a voice. Don't be afraid to use it! I'm listening.  image2image2

  I prefer that you choose the location. It's important that we go somewhere that you are comfortable and where you can relate. Maybe it's someplace that is special to you - a favorite hangout, the neighborhood park that holds memories for you, the place where you and your family goes camping. Usually, my seniors have no clue where they want to go and that's ok. We will figure it out together.

  I will always ask you what you like the most - buildings, grass, tress, concrete, water. From there we will begin to narrow it down. I will show you images of a few places as well as some of the sessions I may have done there and from there the wheels start turning. Sometimes we leave the consultation with a firm grasp of where we are going to go and sometimes we leave with an idea of what you want and then I do my best to find it for you. Sometimes we end up with one great location where we can get a lot of different looks and sometimes we end up with two or three spots to go to. 

  IMG_0057IMG_0057Tonia Johnston Photography location option You know the saying that you always think of the best comebacks after an argument is done? Sometimes that happens with choosing a location as well. We will figure everything out, leave the consult and then that's when a new idea will hit you. AND THAT'S OK. You have my number. A change is just a text away. Our consults are usually two weeks before your session date so nothing is set in stone. We can change things up to two days before your shoot. 

  Don't be afraid to be proactive here. Before you call, text or e-mail me to book your session, keep your eyes open as you're traveling around town. If you see a place you might want to go write it down or commit it to memory. I'll let you know if we can shoot there or if there are photography restrictions or fees that apply. But know that if you absolutely cannot think of a place, I've got you. We'll get it done.

  With all that being said - don't fall into the location trap and let it rule your world. While it's important to find a sweet location for you to feel comfortable in and makes sense to who you are, the most important part of your session is you. And you is what we focus on. The rest is just the cherry on top. 


  Until I see you for your consultation, keep doing you!