Locations and Lighting
Location, location, location. It may be the old adage for real estate, but it is also true for brand photo shoots.
With a solid knowledge of your brand, your image needs established, and your date picked out the next step is deciding where to have your photography session. The setting of your images is part of the story, so choosing a location that aligns with your brand and messaging is key.
Control over the specific lighting situation is the most significant difference between indoor and outdoor locations.
Indoor locations have easy access to power sources, allowing for the quick and easy use of external lighting. However, when considering an indoor location you need to consider the natural lighting. All indoor locations have some access to natural light, but you will need to use a keen eye to detect how well the space is actually lit. It can be easy to get fooled by images of bright locations which depend completely on artificial light, such as bright overhead lights that can cause unflattering shadows. If the size of the space allows external artificial lighting can be utilized to recreate the look of natural lighting.
With changing weather, shifting clouds, and completely uncontrollable lighting outdoors may seem like a less-than-ideal option for a brand photo session. Yet, outdoor lighting can be the softest and most compelling lighting available – think golden sunset hues or dramatic shadows. External lighting can also be used in the great outdoors, however in a slighting more limited way than indoors, allowing for proper lighting even in less-than-ideal weather.
Depending on your brand you will want to look for a location that has soft (indirect) or harsh (direct) light. To get soft light indoors you will be looking for a place with large windows. Typically the best time of day to get an abundance of soft light is during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest and brightest. For outdoors soft lighting comes when the sun is low on the horizon, both at sunrise and sunset. Right before sunrise and just after sunset also offer muted and soft lighting.
Harsh lighting is achieved when the edge between light and dark is most stark, for indoors this is caused by light coming in directly through windows. For outdoors this is when the sun is at its highest.
Start with a location that has great lighting. Lighting that matches your brand, lighting that helps tell the story you want to tell. You will be able to get more images if your photographer isn’t having to change the lighting for each and every shot.