It's All About Location, Location, Location

May 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I pride myself on photographing on location. Yes, this does sometimes mean that we'll need to reschedule due to inclement weather. Carrying a couple of lighting stands and reflectors is so much easier than photographing your subject within four walls! My creativity flows in the fresh air, not in a stuffy studio setting.

Meghan asked me if she could have her portraits taken at Madame Sherri's Forest in Chesterfield, New Hampshire. After doing a little research, I agreed that it would be a wonderful location for senior portraits. Meghan, then a senior at Black River High School in Ludlow, Vermont, wanted a different look for her senior photos. I was totally ready to see how this location could be transformed into my mobile outdoor studio. When someone asks me if I have a studio, I simply say: It's all around me, wherever I am, I'll make it work. 

If you're looking for an unique location, try Madame Sherri's Castle Ruins. As you walk up the path it seems as if you're being watched; that you're not alone in the forest. What remains of the stone staircase sweeps upwards into the branches above, the stairs having arches under them. 

Madame Sherri was known for her lavish parties that she held for her friends from New York City. Falling into poverty Madame Sherri left her lavish home in the forest. On October 18, 1962, the Castle was lost to a fire, with nothing left but the stone staircase and fireplace and the concrete that seems to be have been used by those who've practice Wicca or Satanic type rituals, but this could all be the work of vandals. It was rather creepy down there.

The photo to the left was made with the use of a gold reflector to the right of the camera and a diffuser above the top of Meghan's head. Using the available light in the background and that sweet bokeh* blur to the right of her shoulder, I bounced the light to fill in the shadows that were on her face. Plus a natural lens flare always looks way better than one created within Adobe Photoshop. 

Meghan informed me that if you climb to the top of the staircase, the Madame might push you off. I did climb up the staircase to capture this image! Luckily I was able to use my sheer charm and dashing good looks to convince Madame Sherri I was worthy of using her staircase, and because frankly I would have fought her like a ghostbuster with a proton pack using all the batteries to create a makeshift particle accelerator to send her packing. (Well, I guess my inner nerd self needed a healthy outlet.)

The foliage surrounding the castle ruins was vibrant with color and able to make Meghan's blue eyes pop with the orange hues that encompassed the borders of this portrait. Having her Mother and Aunt to assist and fix her hair and accessories was an added bonus. Having those you trust there when you're getting your senior portraits taken can really be a calming force.


I'm willing to travel to a location of your choosing. We will just need to plan accordingly for the best possible light. Yes, I have an app for that! We can scout out a couple days before if possible so we actually know where the light will fall at the time we'd like to shoot your session. Planning is most certainly the best way to prepare for any outdoor photographs. Plus, scouting out the location first is the best way to plan ahead for your photo session. 

*Bokeh is the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image.

Contact us today to book your senior portrait session: or call (802) 770-0047. I would love to talk to you about a setting of your choosing or any ideas that you might have. Remember I do believe in Unicorns, so let's make it happen. 

Copyright 2017

B. Farnum Photography, offering Vermont Portrait Photography for high school seniors, families, couples and businesspeople.

Brian Farnum Photographer/Owner @ B. Farnum Photography 









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