Photography Locations: Finding Beauty in Unexpected Places

I think just about everyone reading this can agree that our dream photography locations are big tall grass fields with nothing in background but beautiful greenery or the sky. Don’t know what I’m talking about, well this shot of my daughter pretty much sums it up.

But lets face it, not everyone is going to be able to find a field like this. Whether most of the fields in your area are privately owned or the grass in your area just doesn’t grow. My favorite field in the above picture got mowed! It was actually being mowed when I showed up for that session with my daughter. So now I’m out of luck. I’ve got no fun field to take photos in, so I improvise. Not only am I going to show you how to spot places that would be amazing photography locations. But to also see the beauty in an otherwise less ideal place.

I won’t lie; most of the time when I go places I am constantly commenting about the light or how it would be gorgeous to take photos in this place or that. I use drives to the store, the nursery or even to the gym to scout out locations that I might not have found yet. I’m going to show you three examples of places I found by just driving around and using my imagination on what kind of photos I could dream up.

First up in a trailhead by our local river. The majority of this trail is covered in trees. But the entrance of the trail was perfect! Initially I thought the small hill to the right of the trail would be perfect for silhouette, which it is, but I was eaten alive my mosquitos so we had to high tail it out of there before sunset. But before that I was able to get a couple shots. Now it wasn’t ideal and I knew I might have to do a creative edit with the fence (the second result photos my daughter is actually standing in front to the fence) but the end results were exactly what I was looking for!

Photography Location

Resulting Photos

I challenge you to drive around town or look at your route on the way to work/gym/church and see if something catches your eye. I bet you anything you’ve got a beautiful little location right by your house that you never even thought of trying.

If you want to see more unique photography locations check out: Photography location ideas.

Where is one of your favorite photography locations?

  • Kim
    July 13, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Wow Melissa, I really love how these turned out. I would have never guessed the background looked that way before.

  • July 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I do a lot of photos while we’re out hiking, so we’re in a nice natural location (without distractions in the background) and I can snap lots of pictures and play with angles to get nice backgrounds. I also love taking pictures around playgrounds – something about the bright colours go well with children’s photos. Otherwise, I think using angles is important to avoid the obstacles that you pointed out. Thanks for sharing these tips! :)

  • Angela B
    July 14, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    This came at the perfect time! I’m currently obsessing about where to do a maternity shoot. This gives me the confidence I needed to know I can make it work!

  • Ashlyn
    July 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Beautiful images and great tips! Enjoyed this- & what a beautiful little girl!

  • July 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    I like your photography locations. They make the picture look stunning. Your daughter is a cutie. Thanks a lot for sharing the tips :-)

  • July 15, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I love this post! Thanks so much for the perspective…it really is about training your eye to look past all of those things and still see how to get a gorgeous shot. Such a challenge…but so rewarding when you get beautiful pictures. Love yours!

  • narsingrao
    August 12, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    This came at the perfect time! I’m currently obsessing about where to do a maternity shoot. This gives me the confidence I needed to know I can make it work

  • December 23, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Wow thanks for that and fantastic advice! I’ll have to keep an eye on that kind of stuff when I’m walking about with my little boy!!

  • Melanie
    June 23, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    I love to do this. I have a secret spot litteraly across the street from my house. Its surrounded by apartments and looks a mess but I have gotten some great shots there!

  • June 24, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Wonderful. Very nice tips on how to work with what you have and still get awesome shots.. ! Love it.

  • Lillian
    December 16, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Thank you for sharing your tips on capturing beautiful portraits.

  • priscilla campbell
    April 6, 2016 at 3:42 PM

    I would love to send you some shots of kids I have taken. I have been shot down by my camera club for the type of picture. I love taking pictures of kids unaware. I would love to hear what I can do better.

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