Outdoor Portraits - A Location Guide

22nd April 2015
In: Blog
Where to go?
I am often asked to advise clients on where to have their shoots. There are a number of reasons people will prefer one location from another, these include personal reasons and attachments to a specific location.
To help customers select their location, or indeed book their shoot at the right time of year, I have complied a list of locations along with the details and pros and cons. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, there are many other possibilities, I have shot in other places requested by various clients such as back gardens and open spaces local to them, but the following ones are the most frequently visited for my outdoor location shoots.

Best conditions for your shoot
Along with location, the actual conditions at the shoot are important to the final images produced. Whilst it is impossible to control weather, the chances of preferred conditions can be increased by selecting the right time of day for shoots to take place.
The most photogenic of conditions can be found during what photographers call the ‘Golden Hour’. This is the hour or so leading up to sunset where the light is usually very warm and soft. If this isn’t achievable or practical for the client, then the most favourable conditions are still, bright and overcast. Then any location can be used successfully. As a rule I will avoid shooting in the middle of the day, particularly in the summer when the sun is high in the sky, preferring late afternoon or early mornings, when the sun is much lower, making shooting much easier.,

Burgh Castle (Roman Ruins)
Description: Wide open fields with views of the Broads which have with long meadow grasses in summer.
Short grass from September to April. Other backdrops include the local Church and a small footbridge for something different.
Best time: Summer Evening.
Pros: Quiet, very picturesque, with multiple backdrops. Great for children to have a run about.
Adequate parking.
Cons: Not a place for Hayfever sufferers in Summer
The site is very exposed so windy days and bright sunny days can be a problem
There is a ten minute walk to the photo location.
Excess mileage cost: None



Gorleston Beach (Cliffs)
Description: Beautiful beach at the base of sandy cliffs with several location spots for different sets of images, including the cliffs, dunes and of course the sea.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Multiple backdrops. Quieter than the north end of Gorleston Beach.
Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Can be busy on fine days making scenic portrait shots difficult.
Excess mileage cost: None



Similar to Gorleston Beach is Caister Beach (near Second Avenue)
Description: Similar to Gorleston in that there are several location spots for different sets of images, including granite reefs, dunes and the sea. There are also cliffs to the north, but there a ten minute walk to reach them.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Multiple backdrops.
Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Can be busy on fine days making scenic portrait shots difficult.
Excess mileage cost: None

Great Yarmouth North Beach
Description: Beautiful beach with a wide expanse of sand dunes. The dune system gives areas seclusion, giving the impression of being on a deserted beach.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Quieter than South Beach and those areas near the piers. Secluded spots. Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Limited back drops.
Excess mileage cost: None



Fritton Woods
Description: Mainly coniferous forestry site with limited open areas and a few different backdrops. Autumnal colours from September. The woods are fast disappearing, so how long this area remains as a viable photo-shoot location remains to be seen.
Best time: Late Autumn Afternoons.
Pros: Picturesque Autumn backdrop. Quiet. Sheltered from all but the strongest winds.
Cons: Limited off-road parking. Walk to the location is along dusty/muddy paths. Limited backdrops.
Popular with dog walkers and their occasional 'gift' they leave behind.
Excess mileage cost: None



Herringfleet Hills
Description: Two distinctly differing areas (woodland and open grassland) very close to each other.
In certain spots there is the backdrop of Herringfleet marshes and the Smock Mill.
Best time: Late Summer Evenings for grassland/ Late Autumn through to Spring for the woodland.
Pros: Multiple backdrops close to each other. Quiet. Locations are close to Car Park
Woodland area has fantastic trees to use for photo sets.
Cons: Limited Parking. Exposed area (grassland)
Excess mileage cost: None

Burlingham Woods
Description: A Variety of plantations joined by footpaths to explore. Each one has a different feel to it. Copious amounts of wild flowers in Spring.
Best time: Spring for display of wild Daffodils late Spring for carpets of Bluebells. Autumn for
Pros: Multiple woodland backdrops. Quiet. Some locations are close to car park.
Cons: Can be muddy in places. Very shady when trees are in full leaf.
Excess mileage cost: £5-00



For more information and to book your location shoot for 2015 visit my Portraits Page




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