yellow field of flowers and a girl jumping self portrait

Things to Keep in Mind When Shooting Outdoors

It’s not winter yet, which means shooting outdoors is still acceptable without actually freezing to the bone! I’ve never been much of a studio shooter, but rather a seeker of beautiful natural and urban sights and the soft light that lingers just for a fleeting moment before fading away.

There are some things to keep in mind when shooting outdoors though, especially if you’re not so close to civilization!

Okay, for the most part, the answer will be yes. There are woods, meadows and fields still in somebody’s ownership that have passed on through generations, but the owner hardly (if ever) visits them.
Don’t let me start on abandoned houses. Sometimes there’s nobody around, but there could be a homeless person inside. I never wander these places alone, but rather have somebody come with me, just to be safe.
It’s best to do a little research before shooting and know how to handle the situation if the owner/safe keeper approaches you grim-faced. I got in that kind of situation twice and both times I said I didn’t know about the owner and that I was doing a series of works for university. You can modify that and say you’re an artist working on a project. Just take a stance and believe in your own words, but don’t be assertive; it’s better to quickly apologize and leave than get caught up in a row.

yellow field of flowers and a girl jumping self portrait
I went shooting with my neighbor on the prettiest field full of tender yellow flowers. I pressed the shutter a few times and at once a safeguard appeared in his car, asking us what we were doing. We told him we just wanted to take a few shots, but he looked suspicious as he told us we shouldn’t be there in the first place since we were basically trespassing the property of a local jail (which we were completely unaware of). The fact that hunters are permitted to go to that same spot to catch hogs and we weren’t allowed to take photos still blows my mind!

This is SO important. In any case of emergency, a cell phone is a must have! Whenever I’m shooting in the woods alone, I always have my cell phone with me. Not to freak you out, but the possibility of getting bitten by a snake is real.

Whenever possible, especially while exploring unknown places, it’s best to have somebody with you to keep you company. I was shooting with my model once and two guys came who started hollering stupid things to her. She immediately called her boyfriend who wasn’t that far away to come over and, luckily, the guys retreated almost as soon as she dialed the number. Lesson learnt (although I don’t think they have learnt not to behave like scumbags)!

photographer self portrait with cameraAbout the author
Hi! I’m Isabella and I’m a photographer, blogger and applied arts graduate. I love spending my time creatively, or watching movies, drinking tea, playing with my cats and hanging out with friends.
Find me here or on Facebook and say hello!


2 thoughts on “Things to Keep in Mind When Shooting Outdoors

  1. Excellent blog post.. Personally I am fearful of abandoned buildings, homes etc.. My model once dragged me into one and although the shoot turned out well, seeing needles, clothing and bottles made me say lets make this quick. I was always looking over my back so to be honest, pretty amazed that the images came out they way they did lol. Again good advice and an excellent post!


    1. Hi Marcus, thank you for your nice words! And yes, seeing needles (and also blood stains!) is pretty terrifying and I always advise being careful and never – EVER – risk your or your model’s safety for the sake of a photo. I’m glad your photos turned out well though! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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