Finding the right location can make or break a photograph. For these fashion portraits the brief was to get something that gave a feeling of exploring Africa. A trip to the african continent would have been nice, but the budget was just not there, so we had to make do with Sweden. The location hunt was on.
Google maps and streetview are my best friends for finding new locations, as is Google image search. They are great tools for discovering new possible locations. However, there is nothing like being there and taking some test shots to make sure the surroundings and the background will work for the theme. Sometimes I can drive for hours and days looking for that perfect location for a particular shoot and that is after considerable time researching online.
For this shoot, I had a couple of places in mind in the southern parts of Sweden. So, I took the car for a drive to check them out. This spot was my first stop and I couldn’t believe my luck. It is a nature reserve, which means it is relatively untouched and with certain angles and compositions you can really make it look like something out of a catalogue for african safaris.
I always bring a camera on my location hunting, not just to document, but also to take test shots to find out how the location works in a picture. I try different angles and compositions and camera settings to make sure I can get the appropriate light and feel in the image to make it work with the story.
When Olga and I arrived to shoot her “My Africa” story it was one of the hottest days of the summer, with temperatures in the high 20s already at 8 am and it reached well into the 30s by late morning. It was perfect to get us in the right mood, but perhaps not so great for keeping clothes, hair and makeup looking fresh.
True to the style I kept the lighting simple, mostly letting the natural light bounce off the ground to give some fill. however, the sitting image is helped by a Canon 580EX II in a Lastolite EzyBox to fill in the shadows, as the sun is behind Olga. For the closeup the EzyBox was put to use again together with a reflector to fill in some shadows on the left side of Olga’s face, to give a very soft bohemian look.
A few hours and wardrobe changes later we were done and came away with images that fitted the african theme very well. They look great on her wall. Now, it is your turn to get some fabulous fashion portraits for your walls. Get in touch to plan your location shoot.
Model: Olga S
Styling and makeup: Olga S