Outdoor Portraits: Things to Consider
California is an unquestionably magnificent and unique place with fantastic weather, so it's no wonder that many of our clients are looking for memorable outdoor locations for their portrait session. We create portraits at many dramatic Los Angeles locations, and we are head-over-heels for the striking natural light available in outdoor settings. You want to see the beautiful location that you've selected, so we always make sure to include the background in your portrait. You won't see out-of-focus or blurry backgrounds. Everything will be sharp, clear, and beautiful.
We are more than happy to accommodate your desire for an unforgettable outdoor portrait session, but we would be remiss if we did not provide you with all the information you need to make your choice. We will go into more detail at your design consultation, but here are a few things to consider if you're interested in having your portrait session outdoors.
Many Los Angeles locations require photography permits to be obtained. We are professional photographers who research what is required and make sure we have the proper permits before we arrive. Because outdoor locations require lighting equipment, two assistants are necessary to set up, position, and hold lighting. We also bring an assistant who acts as a stylist and keeps an eye on your hair and clothing. To cover the costs of the permits and assistants, we require a separate small location deposit.
Outdoor sessions do give us an opportunity for creativity. Your little ones can run around the location if they get antsy. We can create more playful, spontaneous, and organic portraits. We also can take advantage of natural props such as trees, rocks, and ponds, as well as fountains, modern buildings, and other park amenities.
However, outdoor sessions are often unpredictable. Our favorite locations are also very popular Los Angeles destinations. People may wander in and out of the background while you are being photographed. If the area is undergoing maintenance, unsightly cones and equipment may be present in the background of your portrait. The location may even be closed. We do our very best to work with the situation, but we, unfortunately, are unable to control the weather, park maintenance, and other people.
Wind and rain may disrupt an outdoor session, and while we adore natural light, it may vary wildly from moment to moment. The only times we create outdoor portraits are very early in the morning, or in late afternoon, very close to sunset. Even with additional lights to fill in shadows and shades to block the sun during a late morning or mid-day session, the end results looks artificial and harsh. In summer, the hours right before sunset may conflict with children's bed times. In winter, sunsets are very early and may conflict with work or after school activities.
If you are interested in changing looks during your session, or simply need to use the restroom, it may be difficult to find a suitable facility. Park bathrooms are often few and far between and may be closed for maintenance. Lighting may be bad or non-existent, making it difficult to fix makeup or hair issues.
Sometimes, the best location for an outdoor portrait session is your own yard, as long as it is large enough to accommodate your family, the photographer, assistants, and equipment. It is also important that it be well-manicured and maintained. You and your children may be more comfortable in a familiar setting, bathrooms and changing rooms are readily available, and we can control what is happening in the background.
We do, however, want to be sensitive to your desires, so if you have a spot that is meaningful to you, or you love one of our standard locations, we will absolutely be able to accommodate you. Your family portrait will be a meaningful, enduring, and beautiful work of art that you will treasure for decades to come.
Some of our favorite locations for outdoor sessions are:
• Disney Concert Hall
• Kenneth Hahn Park
• Will Rogers Memorial Park
We hope to meet you soon at one of these beautiful locations!