Are you one of those photographers that always stare at your surroundings when driving around? Then you say…” Oh, that’s a cool spot!” While others look at you like you're crazy. I AM! When I get into a funk, as I think we all do sometimes, I like to take an unlikely drab looking location and make it look magical in post-processing. Why? To prove to myself that I can make any location work… So, I dig within myself to bring out my talent. This in itself INSPIRES ME! It brings me great joy to see the photo transform. Then that inspiration flows into my regular client work. Finally, when I post the before and after images… clients get inspired and believe in me as well!
How to find a great transformation location:
1. Look at your surroundings and find something that inspires you. If you think in your mind "that would look if…" this could be the perfect inspiration for a transformation location!
2. Shoot during the perfect light. Lighting is everything when shooting. I use the Alpenglow app and go about 15-20 minutes before GoldenHour to shoot into the perfect time. Always look for that opportunity when the light is not too bright and your subjects skin looks natural to give you the best look straight out of camera. This will help you tremendously in post when you go back to lightly edit or enhance your image to you style.
3. Ask the owners of property for permission. Do not be afraid if your inspiration spot is not a public place. As a photographer, you should have respect for private property and always ask for permission. You would be surprised how many strangers are in awe of what their property can transform into. Then tag the owner on your page…bam…you have a new fan! If they say no just keep looking and the perfect spot will appear in front of your very eyes.
4. Have an idea in mind of what you want the end result to look like in post-processing. This will help you choose the angles in which to shoot. Shoot different angles, close-ups, etc. to make sure you get the shot you can use for your transformation image. Also, get a pullback to post on your page as well. I typically use my cell phone as well for a pull back photo…because this is truly what the public (potential clients) see when driving by.
5. Photoshop is your friend If you are not a pro inPhotoshop…no worries! Photoshop can be confusing and overwhelming at times, but that shouldn’t hold you back. I learned all my photoshop skills on YouTube to be honest. I typically search for “how-to…” what I want to do and end it with“…in photoshop” and it will normally find some good videos for me to learn and practice. It takes time, but invest the time in yourself and your skill. If I can offer any other advice, DON’T BE AFRAID!
6. DO IT! Go out and make time to shoot for yourself!That way to do not have to please a client and if it doesn’t come out exactly as you were hoping you can try again! No pressure!
Don’t be Afraid to Fail
There are probably only a handful of photographers “ever”that can nail every single frame. It is okay to take a bad shot. I tell my kids all the time, “It’s okay to fail from time to time. If you aren’t failing you aren’t learning anything knew.”
To sum it up, you should always be thinking outside the box and look at your surrounding and see the magic you can make through your view finder and see the “End Results”. Always keep your clients emotionally connected so they can trust your vision and keep them coming back for more.