December 18, 2017

5 Tips for Scouting Walls for Photo Shoots

Lots of things to think about when looking for the perfect wall!

Wall Scouting

When people pick up our coffee table book and flip through, the thing we hear most often is “Wow – all of this art is in Houston?!” Indeed, even the most ardent Houston supporter is often unaware of all this great public art we as a city have to enjoy.

Side note: you too can enjoy all the art either in person by referencing our Houston Mural Guide or via our book chronicling over 75 of the walls with our own original vibrant photography.

The street art movement is truly incredible right now, and using colorful walls as photo shoot backdrops is trending in a big way. You know how much we love it, and we’re thrilled to see the scene growing and growing!

Not only is the Houston mural scene overflowing, but it’s also ever changing! By nature, street art evolves over time. But in addition to the natural evolution of the street art landscape, Houston is lucky to have one concentrated influx of new art each year!

For three years now, Hue Mural Festival has brought a burst of fresh art to the streets of Houston each fall. Artists gather from around the world to paint the city. This festival always results in a creative inspirational boom for us!

So, before the paint dried on this year’s new art, we partnered with Uber and plotted a team tour! We always like to scout out new locations to see how they will work for our photo shoots.

Driving yourself all over town can be exhausting and time-consuming. So, Uber to the rescue!

How to find the best street art for photo shoots
street art photography tips

Did you know that Uber has a new multiple destinations feature? More on that below, but it truly came in so handy for this excursion! We started with a team lunch at FM Kitchen & Bar where our mural is located. (Hint hint – go visit it, snap a pic, post it on Instagram with #morecolorplease, and we might just share your photo!) Then we mapped it where the murals were that we were most interested in.

So, we entered three locations. We went from FM to Saint Arnold’s Brewery to Talento Bilingue De Houston to Greenleaf Wholesale Florists.

How to Find the Perfect Walls for Photography

As we were undertaking this tour and surveying this new crop of murals, it dawned on us that you all might like to know what we look for when scouting wall locations. After all, choosing the right location is the first step for a successful photo shoot.

Here are five factors to consider when surveying walls for photo shoots…

1. Consider which direction the wall faces

This is our first and foremost consideration. Lighting has such a drastic impact on photos. Direct sunlight typically creates unflattering harsh light and shadows. So, we usually aim for shade when we shoot.

Here are some directional guidelines:

If the wall faces east, afternoon is when you’ll find it shaded.

If the wall faces west, morning is when you’ll find it shaded.

If the wall faces south, light can be tricky. You might find sun on the location throughout the day.

If the wall faces north, you’re in luck! The wall will be shaded most of the day.

Hint: our “more color, please” wall faces north making it ideal for shooting any time of day!

2. Consider the ground conditions.

This one may not be as obvious. And it’s actually a handful of little considerations that all factor in.

Is the wall in a parking lot? If so, you have to consider the hours of the establishment (store, restaurant, office, etc) to take into account when the wall may be blocked by cars. For instance, when we pulled up to see these new murals at Saint Arnold’s brewery we quickly realized that this wall would most likely be blocked by employees’ cars each and every work day.

Is the ground around the wall concrete, gravel, grass? Trust me – wearing stilettos on a soft surface presents some challenges! I speak from experience. Ha.

3. Consider the accessibility of the location.

Is it a safe area? Can you park close to the location? Or do you have to park far away and walk to the location?

Is there ample room to move around and take photos? Or are you restricted by an adjacent street or neighboring building?

4. Consider the art itself

What’s the mood of the art? Is it a vibrant scene, or is it a serene scene? Is it dotted with florals or bold stripes? Does it make you happy, or is it darker in nature?

For example, the wall above reminded us of confetti against a black evening sky. So we thought it’d make a fun backdrop for this holiday party look. Along the same lines, we thought it was fun to pair this floral dress with this floral wall below.

5. Consider the colors

Obviously, we are always thinking about color around here! What colors would match with a given wall? What colors would pop or stand out against a given wall? And of course, how does the color palette impact the mood of the setting?

All of these factors impact the mood of your photo shoot and the resulting images. It’s worth it to take careful consideration in planning your shoot. In the end, the more work you can do on the front end, the happier you’ll be with the end result! Remember, research before you shoot.

Uber Makes it Easy

As we mentioned above, Uber now has a multiple destinations feature, which makes it so easy to go various places within one trip, as well as making it super simple to pick up friends or family along the way.

You can add up to two stops before your final destination, and you simply tap “+” to add an extra stop when entering your destination. And if your plans change mid-ride, it’s no biggie, as you can easily remove stops throughout your trip.

Plus, if you select the split fare option, it makes it easy to split the cost among the people you’re riding with.

Street Art

Do you love street art as much as we do? If you’re in Houston, what’s your favorite wall? And if you’re outside of Houston, we’d love to hear, as well, as we have lots more mural guides coming your way! Which city do you want us to tackle next?

And stay tuned for our next update to our Houston Mural Guide in early 2018 which will account for all these new Hue Mural Festival walls.

Have a great rest of your day, and be sure to check out the details of today’s look. We’ll see you back here tomorrow!


Thank you to Uber for sponsoring this content. Sponsorships like this help make creative content like this possible. Thank you to our community for supporting us and our sponsors by clicking on links shared here and by doing business with our sponsors.


  1. Love those tartan pants 🙂

    1. julie says:

      Thanks a bunch, Sheri! I’ll be sharing three ways to style them this week. 🙂


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