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Photo Shoots: Finding the Best Location!

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When a client books me for a photo shoot, the number one question I get asked is, “Where should we shoot?”. The answer is usually not as easily answered as it is asked. There are several factors I present to clients when deciding on the perfect spot for them to capture their memories: ‘What type of scenery do you want? What time of day is the shoot scheduled for? Will the location represent your style & personality?’ For me as a photographer, all of these factors play a huge part in your location choice. I want the surrounding scenery to be just what you envisioned when you see your final images. The time of day you are scheduled to shoot is probably one of the most important when choosing a location for several reasons. For instance, if you want a beach session, midday would be the worst time due to the harsh sunlight; if you want a shoot at The Battery here in Charleston, the evening wouldn’t be a good time due to crowds; and so on… you get the idea. Another thing I stress to my clients is “what will shout YOUR personality?”.

Here are several scenic ideas I often share with clients when deciding the best spot for them:

  • Urban: downtown building in the city, alley ways, building stairwells, even abandoned buildings are awesome. {Be sure you have permission!}
  • Water: lakes, rivers, ponds
  • Country: fields, forests, dirt roads, farms, barns
  • Gardens or paths
  • Beach
  • Plantations
  • Amusement parks, carnivals or fairs
  • Marina, or on a boat
  • Studio
  • Sports arena or field
  • Playground
  • Your own home, inside or out!

 

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So, as you can see, there are many types of scenic types that can fit your personal style and personality. You can pretty much take any type of scenery and turn it into a fantastic location for your memories!
Here in Charleston, I have my own favorite spots as I’m sure all local photographers do. I have many clients that come from out of town, some even hours away, that really don’t know of many places locally to have their shoot.

Here is a little list of a few places I often recommend (Most of these locations are free but be sure to always check for any possible fees prior to choosing a location):

  • The Battery & White Point Gardens: This is a very popular spot here in Charleston but is always a favorite. I recommend an early morning shoot to avoid crowds.
  • Waterfront Park: You can find everything from fountains to gardens, walkways, & benches, to views of the Ravenel here. This is a favorite of many out of town clients and often very crowded. A morning shoot would be best!
  • Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner: This spot has gardens, ponds, brick stairways, garden gates… it’s simply stunning!
  • Downtown: I usually park and take a walk with clients! There is so much beauty in downtown Charleston on every corner and this is the best way to capture that. Cobblestone streets, churches, gates, alleyways, gardens- you name it! You can get see the beautiful streets as well as historic buildings all in one area.
  • College of Charleston campus: Beautiful scenery and historic buildings.
  • Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms: The beach, enough said!
  • Old Navy Base, North Charleston: This is BY FAR my favorite location!
  • Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park: Beautiful views of the Ravenel & the USS Yorktown from the pair, grassy areas, and a play park!
  • Shem Creek Boardwalk: Amazing views of Shem Creek! The evening sunset is stunning here!
  • Cypress Gardens: another short drive to Moncks Corner, but a beautiful location!
  • Local Plantations: Middleton Place, Drayton Hall, Boone Hall, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, are a few favorites! {Most plantations require a fee upon entry so be sure to check!}

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As many photographers do, I have my secret spots but these listed are a few of the more popular favorite spots among clients!

What are YOUR favorite spots? Share them with us!

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3 Responses to Photo Shoots: Finding the Best Location!

  1. Ashley August 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Hey Jennifer, I write for Knox Moms Blog in East TN and would love to chat with you about some pictures of my family and I when we go to Charleston in a few weeks…

    • Brigid
      Brigid August 4, 2015 at 7:08 am #

      HI Ashley! Jennifer is on vacation but saw your message. She will get back to you soon! 🙂

  2. Rachel Weber October 26, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    Mepkin Abbey no longer allows photo shoots on their grounds as a way to preserve the land and sanctity of the location.

    It is illegal to shoot on Sullivan’s Island if you are a business.

    Most all of the plantations charge anywhere from $200-$500 to have a professional photo shoot on their grounds.

    I just thought you would want to know some of things before anyone heads out to those locations.