Finding Locations for Great Portraits


A local botanical garden is a good example of how to use one location to compose a series of great portraits. Your local botanical garden will have a large variety of different nature backdrops with beautiful colors.

In contrast to our ‘Among the Cacti‘ series on ‘How to Blend People with Nature‘, this ‘Queen of Spring‘ shoot, has the model popping out out in vivid colors against the natural greenery of Botanical Gardens in Amsterdam.

When creating these photos, I focused on using light and depth of field to separate the model from the busy background, and making her stand out as the focal point of the images.  This gives the “coming of the forest” effect I was going for. This location has a unique lighting situation as a result of being located inside a green house. The lighting was tricky as it came from many directions and the plants created many shadows. I used my canon speed light inside a westcott rapidbox to fill the shadows and create one more dominant lighting direction. I was pleased with how this technique created a more intentional lighting effect and gave a suitable commercial feeling to this fashion shoot.

Credits: theModeCode | Model: Winke van Wreeland | Make up: Nona Ibu | Styling & Hair: Rebeka Kadlicsek | Photography: Megan Alter Photography | Location: De Hortus Botanicus– Amsterdam

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