Vancouver (and some times Los Angeles) weirdo wears stuff, takes pictures, makes fashion blog.

Location, Location, Location!

black dress with holographic accessories

I can't stress enough how much a great location can be your biggest asset when shooting an outfit. And I say this as a photographer first, and a blogger second. (And most definitely a stickler for outdoor natural light in both cases!)

When I set up shoots with models/clients, I generally like to get a feel of what outfits they want to bring, and what mood and aesthetic they want to get out of it, then pick a location that would complement the overall look. Important things to keep in mind are textures, colors, and depth. A colorful wall is well and good, but having a flat background is extremely limiting. A background isn't just a haphazard thing, it is the thread that ties your entire look together into one cohesive package. So, with a little scouting, a little bit of Google Street View, a little bit of just knowing the city you live in and where all the good nooks and crannies are, and you should be able to compile a great list of locations for future shoots.

silver jacket glitter shoes

Are you going for whimsy? Find a place with lots of foliage or old school architecture. Looking for something more edgy? Find exposed brick and dense alleyways. Another thing to keep in mind is how the light would hit a certain spot at a particular time of day. I live in Vancouver, a city notoriously overcast and rainy most of the year, so any added shadows would be something to avoid.

wearing metallics like a champ

On an afternoon walk, I stumbled upon possibly the best apartment complex in Pasadena Its pastel exterior trimmed with even more pastel stair case railings was a perfect setting for a retro-futuristic feel. I felt like I stepped into some kind of 50's Americana paradise, where dreams of flying cars and robot butlers were alive and well. Its palette is soft yet bright, and there were tons of shapes (straight and curved edges alike) to play with. It is nostalgic, but packed a clean futuristic punch at the same time. Oh the joys of discovering wonderful places to shoot while low key taking a walk!  With this particular outfit, I felt like Judy Jetson finally decided to ditch the overwhelming Pepto pink for something a bit less kitschy, and more holographic (welcome to the future!) My belt (that a friend aptly dubbed, "Dat Lisa Frank belt!") is shiny, and jacket even shinier -- it was great contrast against the soft background palette.

found the best photoshoot location for this outfit

Side note: I don't think I need to stress how much I love shiny things. But I really, really love shiny things!

So, I suggest you drop pins on compelling places you visit, stroll by, or happen to find when you're absolutely lost. There are a lot of gems that you wouldn't even think about twice if you were just passing by, but I assure you that if you go out with the mindset of your wardrobe (or someone else's wardrobe) in mind, your map will start to fill up over time, and you'll have a fat catalog of endless locations you can use to your advantage.

dreaming of flying to space one day

Photo & makeup cred: Pauline Hsieh @lauhte EditingMe!
Outfit details: Jacket: Target | Dress: Bluenotes | Choker & Belt: Forever 21 | Shoes: Ardene
36 comments on "Location, Location, Location!"
  1. As a fashion blogger myself I am constantly on the lookout for spots to shoot photos (even when I'm not evening out shooting). You could say I'm obsessed (lol), but it's good to plan places in your head, which will save lots of time!

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

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    1. It's great to be obsessed about creative endeavors! LET IT FUEL YOU! GRRRRRRRWARR!

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  2. Such a fun and interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I love the idea to use Google Street View! How did I never think of that?!?

    Tricia
    www.mamabops.com

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    1. Thanks for reading Tricia! Street View is awesome!! Hope it's a helpful tip for your future shoots! (Maybe for all those adorable green baby boy outfits from your blog??)

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  4. you look so beautiful. and pics looks so awesome. love your jacket and dress.

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  5. I agree location is key. Looks like you found a beautiful place to shoot!

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    1. Legit! I can think of many looks that work with that location!

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  6. Loved this post! It's great advice. Just because it's a cool location doesn't mean it fits with the vibe you're going for!

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    1. IKR! Sometimes I see photos of a gorgeous dress... but with a chain-linked fence in the background... just no!

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  7. You picked some awesome locations. Will keep this tip in mind if one day I start doing outfit posts outside.

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  8. That apartment complex you found is so fun and it's a perfect backdrop for your outfit! Having to figure out all of those kinds of details must be why I can't do creative work, my mind just doesn't think like that. I wish my mind was a bit more creative instead of so analytical!

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    1. Everyone has their strengths! Like if you asked me to do math, there'd be smoke coming out of my ears X__X

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  9. I also love shiny things. You have the best jacket on!

    I never know where to shoot photos. I'm not a fashion blogger so I just do them outside my door. But when I take photos of my daughter, I always hope to find a great spot. No luck so far!

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    1. Sometimes I find that even just a very nicely textured wall can work beautifully! And if all else fails, TREES! LOTS OF TREES!

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  10. I always keep an eye out forlocations & places where I can shot something.

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    1. That's the way to do it! Thanks for reading~

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  11. I like the staircase you chose. Sunset is always a nice time too.

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    1. Sunset is my absolute fav. Everyone looks good during the golden hour! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Love that dress and how you paired it with the skinny belt! It's such a cute look!

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    1. Thanks so much Nicole! I love your style~ Followed you on IG~

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  13. The idea of setting pins on Google Maps is a great one - nice way to store good locations for later!

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    1. Also helpful for all the cute cafes I see while I'm driving by but can't stop at at that particular moment!

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  14. These are great suggestions. I have a photoshoot scheduled soon and feel so out of my element when asked where do I want to go. But I'll try to keep on the look out for good spots using your advice.
    -Niki

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    1. Best of luck on your photoshoots <3 <3

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  15. lol i always use google street view and yea loved your outfit :)

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  16. A great location can make anything look great! Bad hairday? No problem, go to the beach. :P

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    1. Haha it's not messy, it's WINDBLOWN AND FREE~~

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  17. I am kinda camera shy and don't like to take pictures. However, when I go to places that I like, I'd take a picture of the place from time to time but no picture of myself. Maybe I should take a selfie or two lol.

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    1. It took me a long time to stop making stupid faces when having my picture taken... takes practice! It all starts with one selfie...

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  18. I do modeled product shots for my business and can agree with everything suggested here! Although my shoots aren't high fashion, I still try to shoot with a particular background in mind for my business needs. I just need to step out of my comfort zone and start being in front of the camera myself. I'll keep these things in mind!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! You can definitely try some baby steps -- have a close friend take pictures of you so you feel 100% comfortable, tell each other stupid jokes to get those genuine smiles. I'd love to see some of your product shots!

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