Though my blog began its life in April 2009, it wasn't - for all intents - until we moved to my home town of Penticton, BC in early 2012, nearly three years ago now, that I began sharing vintage outfit photos here on any kind of regular basis. Sure, there had been the odd one here and there before, but our homes and the locations where we lived, coupled with the fact that we didn't have a car, as well as some of the worst years of my life on the health front, all added up to the conditions often being far from ideal when it came to shooting photos of yours truly.
Thankfully a lot of factors in our life improved when we settled into our house here and very soon after doing so, outfit shoot became a regular part of my daily world and blog alike. I've posted into the triple digits now on that front and have every intention of continuing to share my vintage ensembles with all of you as Chronically Vintage heads towards its six year and beyond.
We're blessed to live in an exceedingly beautiful part of the world (a point I've touched on in numerous posts over the years, such as this one in 2013) and I try never to take that fact for granted. The landscape - a bevy of dry soil, dusty sagebrush, verdant pine trees, shimmering blue lakes, and sky saluting mountains provides us with no shortage of stunning backdrops against which to point the camera's lens.
The same applies when we travel elsewhere in the province and country as well, as Canada really is - and I say this without a spec of bias because it's my homeland - one of the most incredibly gorgeous, diverse, inspiring countries anywhere in the whole wide world. Over the past (nearly) three years, I've had a stellar time scouting photo shoot locations near and far, be they here in Penticton, elsewhere in the Okanagan, or further afield, in both urban and wildness settings, and while reflecting on that point recently an idea popped into the ol' noggin.
In the spirit of the new year, with its twelve months comprised of fifty-two weeks, I thought it would be tons of fun to share a selection of fifty-two different photo shoot locations with all of you, to inspire both you and I alike when it comes to taking outfit photos for our blogs, social media, or any purpose your heart desires this year (and beyond!).
This list is by no means entirely exhaustive of course. You can, after all, quite literally pose and take a photo just about anywhere you go, so long as doing so doesn't break any rules and you've got the lighting and equipment necessary to capture an image. You may have noticed that in the title of today's post, the word vintage is in brackets. This is because I feel that the following list works excellently for both vintage and contemporary fashionistas alike, as well - it should be added - for those who may be working as a hobbyist or professional photographer, be it with with friends, relatives or paying clients.
I have not put these locations in any particular order, nor are they an instruction manual for the coming year, but rather an enjoyable list that I sincerely hope will help spur on your outfit photo shoots, whether you live in Pittsburg or Paris, Winnipeg or Washington, DC, or anywhere in this vast, wonderful world of ours.
1. On a foot or hiking path up a mountain
2. On the train tracks and/or at a train station (all the better if it's a vintage one!)
3. Amongst the tall stalks in a field of corn, wheat or hay
4. In front of, or inside, your childhood school (or any school where you have permission to shoot)
5. On a pier, wharf, or dock
6. Against the weathered wood of an old barn
7. In, or on top of, the sheets and blanket of a made made entirely with crisp white linen
8. Standing/splashing in, or hopping over, a puddle of rain (in a nod to Henri Cartier-Bresson)
9. On the pitcher's mound of a baseball diamond
10. At a log cabin or ski chalet
11. In your closet or dressing room
12. Jumping on a trampoline
13. While camping (in front of the fire, in a tent, etc)
14. Standing still in the midst of a busy crowd (say, at Grand Central Station in NYC)
15. On an idyllic tree lined residential street
16. On the tarmac of an airport (this will likely require getting permission or finding an airstrip that is no longer being used)
17. At an outdoor skating rink
18. Under a clothesline strung with with classic linens (like vintage pillow cases, aprons and kitchen towels)
19. At a vintage/classic car show
20. In a tunnel or beneath a bridge/overpass
21. At fair or carnival
22. Outside as the rain or snow comes tumbling down (umbrella optional)
23. In the bleachers at a sporting event
24. At a Christmas tree farm or lot
25. Beneath/in front of the marquee at a theater
26. At a laundromat
27. Standing on the balcony of a high rise apartment or hotel room
28. At a wedding (being sure of course to not steal the spotlight from the couple and their photographer)
29. On a boat or cruise ship
30. Standing (or sitting) on a flight of stairs (indoors or out)
31. Amongst the stacks of books at a second hand bookstore or library (ask permission first)
32. Sitting on the (sturdy!) limb of a tree
33. On a tropical beach with the gorgeous teal-blue sea in front, or behind, you
34. In front a famous landmark (e.g., the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc)
35. Outdoors at night (photographic lightning will likely be required)
36. At your workplace
37. In an orchard that's in bloom during the spring or full of fruit come summer or fall
38. Holding a large bunch of balloons in wide open field or meadow
39. At an outdoor market, street fair, or similar location
40. Standing in the snow (chilly yes, but oh-so-gorgeous!)
41. In an abandoned industrial building (ensure it's safe for you to be there first)
42. Against a fabulous solid coloured wall
43. In a lush garden or flower filled park
44. At a zoo, petting zoo, farm, dog park or other location with cute critters
45. In front, or standing on, a public bandstand
46. On a roof top (again, be sure it's safe and that you're allowed to be there)
47. Standing on a frozen lake, river, pond, etc (be 100% sure the ice is thick enough to safely support you before venturing onto it)
48. On the sidewalk (bonus points if there's a great house, fence, gate, or other point of interest in the shot)
49. In front of (or if you want to channel your inner Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, standing inside) a water fountain
50. On the banks of a river (that's the North Thompson River in the photo below)
51. At a building/construction site (only do so with permission and if it's safe to be there)
52. Playing at a playground (letting your inner child run free!)
(All photography by Tony Cangiano)
★ ★ ★
Of course, and I realize that this may go without saying, but...always be careful wherever you're shooting. Make sure that you have stable footing (such as on a river bank or train trestle), that you're not apt to be hit by traffic, that there are no dangerous power lines nearby, that the weather conditions are suitable, that if you opt for #47, you're on ice that is incredibly solid and can support your weight without cracking; that you're not risking doing damage to any historical and/or sacred sites by taking photos there, and that you're not breaking the law or putting yourself (or anyone else) in danger by shooting in a given location.
The area where you live by be starkly different from my own, a point I tried to keep in mind while composing this list. If you live in the heart of a sprawling urban metropolis, you may not have a babbling brook or a vast expanse of desert nearby. Likewise, by the same token, if you live in the rural countryside, posing on the balcony of a high rise may not be in cards, nor would a backdrop of gritty, glaringly vibrant graffiti tattooed on a concrete wall.
While there is zero problem with reusing photo shoot locations (especially if you do so at different times of the years, with new outfits, holding fresh props, etc) - I've done so myself numerous times at this point in time - you do want to aim for that marvelous spice of life, variety, and keep your eyes peeled for new locations. Think outside the box, follow local fashion bloggers and the websites (and/or social media accounts) of photographers in your area (if there are any other) and see where they're shooting.
Believe me when I say, it's easy to live in even a small town for many years, if not decades, and to still not have thought of every potential spot to take photos. Sometimes a single wall (say, like my hugely beloved grey wall in Kelowna), majestic tree in a park, picnic table near a lake, friend's backyard, or other spot you hadn't noticed or looked at as a photo shoot location can become one in a split second.
Though sometimes, especially if you're traveling, it's best to just take photos wherever you possibly can. If time and circumstance permit, it's always fun and can really add a great deal to your images if you stop and consider the different dynamics at play. Will a backdrop clash with or compliment your outfit? Does it seem in stark contrast to the decade that you're wearing? (Sometimes this can work in favour of a shoot, at others against it - when in doubt, a natural backdrop such as the woods, a beach, or garden are always wonderfully timeless choices.)
And in the same vein, are the colours of that location so similar to your green dress and navy blue hat that you're apt to look like you're trying to camouflage into your surroundings? Will you be too warm, or conversely, too cold if you stay there for long enough to get the hundred, two hundred or more photos that many of us shoot in order to nail a small handful of really terrific images?
As touched on in a post from the fall of 2013 called How Tony and I Do Vintage Outfit Shoots, I (we) keep a running list of locations that we may want to shot at or return one day (sometimes a location offers up multiple spots to take photos in that may differ from one another, such as a public garden on the grounds of a historical building or a park with different, distinct areas and types of vegetation to be had there), that we call our phosholo (an abbreviation for “photo shoot location”).
If don't have such a list yourself already, I highly encourage you to start one. Many is the day when you want to take outfit snaps, but might not be in the mood or have the time to come up with a bracingly fresh location to do so in. Jot down anything that comes to mind or that you spot. These days I like to keep my phosholo list in Evernote, but you could use a Word or Notepad document, a note taking app on your phone, or of course the classic option of pen and paper.
I really hope that this list of fifty-two photo shoot locations has helped inspire you as we look ahead to another fabulous year of vintage outfit posts. I'd love to hear about some of your favourites, be they on this list or not. In fact, especially if they're not! Please share your top spots and/or most memorable photos shoot locations in the comments below and help inspire your fellow bloggers who are reading this post with even more great ideas than the ones I've rounded up here today.
Happy, safe, and very fun vintage outfit shooting in 2015, my sweet friends!