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.