Five Locations you Can use for your Next Shoot Even if you Don't Live in a Big City.

People often tell me I’m lucky to live in New York City because I have such interesting locations to shoot. I agree that I am fortunate to live here. New York provides endless opportunities for inspiration. I do however feel, that no matter where you live, you can find inspiration AND cool locations to shoot.

Most of my photos aren’t taken near popular New York landmarks. If you haven’t visited here you probably would never know it was New York City unless I told you. Sure, a few photos with yellow cabs in the background may give it away. Other than that it just looks like an “urban vibe”

Today I’m going to suggest five locations that you can find in anytown USA, and beyond.


5 locations you can use for your next shoot


1. Doorways 

I’m notorious for using them in portraits. This particular doorway is the front door of an apartment building that was left open.

I love doorways because you already have a frame to work with.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy. It just needs to be the basis for composing your photo. You can the work the angles as need be.

5 locations you can use for your next shoot

2. Stairs

Stairs are ubiquitous. Even in the most remote town a city hall has a staircase.

Stairs are another favorite because they provide lines and layers. They’re also useful because you can have your client either sit or stand. You as a photographer can use them to get even higher to get a different perspective.

5 locations to use on your next shoot.

3. Crosswalks

The most underrated location! Almost all my portrait clients have a crosswalk shot. Why? The parallel lines draw your eyes in. Chances are other people are crossing at the same time as your subject so you will have more visual to your story.

5 locations to use on your next shoot

4. Benches

Benches are everywhere. This makes them SUPER convenient for portraits. It may not seem like much, but it can provide endless posing opportunities. You can also use a bench like the stairs to achieve a different perspective.

5 locations to use on your next shoot

5. Parks

Parks are great because they often provide a slice of wilderness.  Tree lined walls, and walking trails can add symmetry, and add interest to your composition.  More urban parks can add an electrifying energy to your photos.

So there you have it folks. Five location ideas,  that you can literally find ANYWHERE. I hope this provides you for some inspiration for your next photo shoot.  

Tell me, where are your favorite places to photograph where you live? Let me know in the comment section.

From the Cutting Room Floor with Style in the Way

Social Media has given me awesome opportunity to meet and work with amazing people.  A few weeks ago I met up with one of my Instagram friends Sierra. She is a fashion blogger over at  Style in the Way.

style in the way photo shoot.

You can click here  to see the magic we created.

Keep reading to learn more about her, and to see the photos from the cutting room floor. 

What is the meaning behind your blog name?

I grew up playing instruments since I was 4 years old and so music has always been part of my life. When I started my blog, I wanted to include this musical roots because I truly believe that they influence my style. So I chose one of my favorite Nirvana songs called “Something in the Way” and changed the “something” to “style.”


When did you know that you had an interest in fashion?

Fashion was something I always admired but I never knew that much about it growing up. I wore a uniform at school for my whole life so I never really got the chance to experiment with style like I wanted to. During my freshman year of college, it suddenly hit me that fashion is something I had been interested in all along. When I realized I could make a career out of it, I immediately reached out to ELLE Magazine and was able to secure an internship there. After working at ELLE, I knew for sure that the fashion industry is the place for me.

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What are some trends that you are excited about this season?


I have so many trends that I am excited about!! I love the colors red and pink right now. They are both trending like crazy!! I’m also loving ruffles and gingham. Those are two trends that I have never tried before but that I want to feature on my blog later this summer. I’m hoping to find more trends on the streets of New York


What is your favorite thing about being in New York City?


My favorite thing about being in NYC is the inspiration that is everywhere. You can never run out of new foods to try, pictures to take, and people to see. Also being surrounded by such a diverse community with an eclectic sense of style is amazing!! I always find inspiration on the streets. I’ll see someone wearing their clothes in a unique way and sometimes I’ll try it out myself.



Do you want to know I got this shot? Stay tuned this week to find out exactly how! In the meantime you can keep up with me on Instagram

The Circus Train

A few months ago, I traveled to Atlanta for a little getaway and some rest and relaxation with the family. 

While there we happened upon the circus train. GUYS THE REAL LIFE CIRCUS TRAIN! 

Naturally I turned into a five year old.

I was jumping up and down and screaming “THE CIRCUS TRAIN! THE CIRCUS TRAIN!” (No lies ask my family) 

 Side note:  My fondness for the circus train came from this book I got in my kids’ meal at Burger King  in the mid eighties titled: (drum roll please) The Circus Train. 


It is a story about how a train breaks down in a small town on their way to the big city. The train manager is big mad about it, and fretting about being late to the next gig. Little Johnny asks him why they don’t just set up here and do the circus in the small town tonight. 

The tightrope walker low key shames him about it until a clown chimes in with “Why Not?” 

The circus people come together. They have their show and the town loves it. After the show, another train happens to come in the nick of time. The circus people board and ride off into the sunset. 

Years later the town still talks about the day the circus train came to town. 

I don’t know why but I’ve always loved that story. 

Fast forward to me jumping up and down about the train. 

I legitimately wanted to run up on there and see the fire eater, and the bearded lady. I didn’t know if I could go on or not so I just eagerly snapped photos of it from the outside. 

I saw a few men come off with containers of food. 


Well you know what I did. 

I marched on up mouth open and wide eyed on the food car, and ordered a burger.

circus train

Maybe I was a little eager, but how often do you get to eat on the circus train? Especially since this is the last year of Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. I mean..... this really is my last chance. 

circus train

Being the typical Virgo that I am, my eyes turned to the cook. I wondered what his life was like and how it was living and cooking on the train. A new city every couple of days, you know living that road life. His face and eyes told a story.  I wondered if people were kind to him since he is the cook, and not a performer. I wondered if people overlooked him, or were they truly grateful for his cooking skills and feeding them. See? Typical Virgo. Overanalyzing everything. This is what we do. 

While the food was cooking I went to the car to get my camera. 

I showed him my business card and told him “I promise I’m not a creep. I’d like to take your portrait.”   He chuckled and agreed. 

What happened next was pure magic.

This is my favorite part of the creative process. I’ve said before in other posts about how photographers are sort of an archaeologist of emotion.  I can always tell if you are comfortable with me sticking my camera in your face.  
I watched Rick transform from timid to “I got this mode.” By the third frame I had the shot that I wanted.

I saw him, and he knew that I  really saw him. Photography is so much more than having a “good camera.” Technical skills, and equipment are great, but connection to you subject is key. 

When people feel  validated, and that they can trust you, they will open up to you. They will show you their soul.  I haven’t seen Rick since, and probably won’t ever again. But I want to thank him for letting me show the world how cool, and awesome he and his job really are.