To say that being a photographer gives you access to people and situations that you normally wouldn't have is such an understatement. This holds true for people in cities and rural areas as well.
Of course it depends on what personal limits you apply to yourself and how curious you are. Me, I like to take on projects that I know will stretch my skills. Whether that means that I have to learn a new lighting technique or I will have to connect with a group of people who I never would have in the past, I am willing to make it happen in a quest to achieve my artistic goals.
This past year I started a project photographing amazing motorcycles out on locations using big lighting and then connecting with some of the guys who are restoring these bikes to do portraits of them in their workshops. I seem to have adopted a particular lighting style.
For the people portraits I'll usually douse the existing lighting and bringing 2 or 3 small flashes in order to mould the situation to my liking. It all depends on the situation and whether I have enough time to do what I want. Usually time is on my side.
If you are considering taking on a project that will mean shooting portraits on location, I would advise that you practice using your equipment in made up scenarios before hand. Get comfortable with your equipment. Learn it's quirks and what it can and can't do. Find how your lighting compliments your style of shooting. It's important that you know exactly how it all works before you enter another person's space.
Case in point; Bill Edgar in the image above, owns and restores amazing Triumph motorcycles. I learned about him while at a British vehicle gathering in Lindsay Ontario. I learned about the because I met another bike owner at a different vehicle gathering. 1+2+3= Bill.
Speaking with Bill gave me the opportunity to photograph one of his bikes on location in Lindsay, and a brief conversation opened up the option to do a portrait of him a few months later. But it all started because I had an idea.
Portraits on location afford you the opportunity to explore practically any subject you are interested in. It all starts with your curiosity and a drive to achieve your goals.
The execution of your portrait project could involve any number of lights, locations, subjects, days or in fact years. Or maybe you want to dedicate a single day to shoot something around a special theme. Take your time to decide what your project will be and put all your energy into it. Nobody can tell you what to shoot. It's your project. Go forth and create.
Photo-Artist working a personal vision.
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