BUFFALO SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHY - COMPARING STUDIO VS LOCATION
I am quite excited to offer two very different looks to my Senior Portrait clients. Studio portraits and outdoor location portraits can be combined into one session. Of course you can also choose to have one option for your session too. Let me take you through the pros and cons of each option...
I would describe the outdoor session as more casual and free, where the scenery of the location and light helps dictate the mood of the shoot. To get a feel for the look of an urban shoot, follow this link to see portraits in an urban setting.
Pros and cons location
PROS: Light is a huge prop in your portraits. With outdoor portraits we can have a lot of fun using the sun for dramatic affects. Also, the landscape - be it rural or urban can really add to the overall look of the portraits in a dramatic way. There is also more scope for a variety of locations and looks - the environment is creatively stimulating.
CONS: The weather. We are at the mercy of the weather and need to understand we may need to accommodate changes and re-scheduling of your session. It may be windy, cold, hot, or just moody and overcast. So although we love the idea of gorgeous sunlit days, we need to remember those perfect sunlit shots are not always possible. We will work to accommodate you as much as possible, however if it isn't raining or bitterly cold, we will normally keep shooting. Overcast days do have their advantages - the clouds create a large soft box which means we can basically take portraits of you in any position and we will get beautiful flattering portraits.
Another consideration is walking - there is usually a significant amount of walking, especially if we are in a park. In order to get a variety of different looks and backdrops, sometimes you just need to walk a lot to get to the locations.
Flexibility with clothing changes is another consideration. We can bring a pop up tent for changing, but there is a bit more effort involved with transporting clothes and changing into different outfits than you would deal with in the studio. Hence we tend to change outfits less often.
The other con is people in and around your portrait. Parks, especially in the Summer are popular places. When being photographed outdoors, you need to remember you are not the only one out there being photographed or enjoying the outdoors. We will need to work around other people and be courteous and understanding of other people's desire to enjoy the outdoors, even when it hinders our picture taking. For this reason we schedule our sessions during the week to avoid as much of the weekend rush as possible.
A studio session doesn't have to look stale with harsh flashes and cheesy backdrops. A studio session can look as fresh and contemporary as an outdoor session and with the look of a fashion magazine. The studio session lends itself to a more glamorous look and feel. An editorial magazine look. One of the major advantages is that we are not reliant on the weather and we can shoot you during the day rather than waiting for sunset light. It is definitely an exciting option for seniors.
pros and cons studio
The pros and cons of a studio session are rather easy to point out. There are quite a few pros and only one major and very obvious con...
Pros: Privacy is the best! We have our own space and no one is going to come and sit in our background or take our perfect setting so we can't shoot in it. The studio is a lovely, quiet place where you have air conditioned comfort, a bathroom, clothes changing area, snacks and beautiful consistent light. We are not distracted with the weather - if it is a thunderstorm outside it doesn't matter. If it is a sweltering hot day, it doesn't matter! With the studio, we have comfort and convenience. Your hair and make up will stay perfect and you will get a wonderful variety of portraits.
Cons: Can you guess what the one con is? It isn't outdoors. Quite simply, even though outdoors can run it's array of challenges, there is a reason we like to take portraits outside - the scenery and light is pretty stunning when it is working in our favor. So if you like the outdoors, I get it, it is quite special.
studio and outdoor location option
A popular choice in Senior portrait sessions is to shoot both studio and location. Now this can definitely seem like you are getting the best of both worlds, however there are a couple of things you need to consider before choosing this option...
Time. When you are splitting your session between studio and outdoors, time comes into the equation. Everyone has an expiry point and I've photographed enough Seniors to know they all eventually tire of being photographed. Your senior portrait session is a big event - preparing your outfits, hair and make up application and then photography. We want you to be fresh when you are being photographed, which means we need to split your time at studio and location in a favorable way so you are fresh for both settings. By splitting our time it means we don't have as much time to really explore the full range of portrait options at the studio and outdoors. We also need to factor travel time - even driving a few minutes up the road can take up to a half hour by the time you get organized, pack up and travel to your outdoor location and then walk to where you are being photographed. We normally recommend 1-2 outfits for the studio and 1 casual outfit with a slight change for outdoors. For example the Studio you may wear a prom dress and a summer dress and then outdoors you may wear jeans and a top and then change the top part way through to get two looks. Essentially, when we split the session in two, you just need to remember you are not going to have as much time to truly dive into the studio or location and get a full body of work in each place.
However, if you like the idea of getting the variety of portraits and can't decide between studio or location then this option definitely works for you!
To see more examples of Senior portraits, see the Seniors Gallery. Thanks Miss M for trusting me to take these pictures. I think you look stunning in both sessions and as always, I had a lot of fun. I wish you all the best in your future studies. xx