The answer to the question in the title may not always be simple, even if it might seem an easy one to answer.
Today, I want to cover what goes into deciding where to have your athlete portraits with Creative Sports Photography done, whether it's a 1-on-1 athlete portrait session or a high school senior portrait session.
And in the process, make this important step as easy as possible for you.
Ready? Let's go.
Creative Sports Photography's approach to choosing a location
Let's establish something here at the start.
My job, as I see it, is to create eye-popping, elite portraits for athletes any where. Doesn't matter where it is. My job is to work with the environment and get you results.
That's important. You want a portrait photographer you can depend on.
You want an athlete photographer who's a puzzle solver who can adjust to just about any situation and get you results. Not all photographers have that in their DNA.
Just like in sports, sometimes the field or the court or the arena isn't perfect. And like you, we photographers play the game as best we can anyway.
The first step in choosing a location
What's important to the athlete in your family? The answer from time to time might surprise you.
You might think it should be their home field, court, or pool. And chances are, that's right. Most of the time, that's right.
But what if your son or daughter has a different idea? Or your home field, court, or pool isn't available?
Not to worry. There's a solution to this.
First, consider perhaps doing the images at a field, court or pool from their early days of playing. Every athlete is on a journey, and that journey began with the first steps. Where did those take place?
Where I learned to play baseball and made some of my favorite, most lasting memories, that field is gone now. You can see it. It's so overgrown with weeds, you wouldn't even know a baseball field existed there.
Another thought is to find any field, court, or pool that's available. Yeah, it might not have your team or school's logo on it, but my job as your portrait photographer is to make the images look outstanding, to make images you want to keep.
Sometimes, even though your neighborhood basketball court isn't your home court, it can look phenomenal in portraits. It can provide such great character and environment.
So if your first or second choice isn't available, it's all right. We'll find a suitable place and still get you amazing athlete portraits.
Speaking of location availability
Prior to your athlete or senior portrait session, we'll work to make sure you venue is open, available, and what if any protocols are in place for us to follow.
A lot of places like high school fields are public and have times when the public is welcome to come in. That makes it easy.
Even then, I prefer the athletic director or someone in authority to know we'll be there and when. That way in case there are any questions, they'll have awareness and are on board.
But there are other places - rec centers, arenas, gymnasiums, private parks, ice rinks, and so on - that are not public.
Some of them require waivers. Others require rental fees. No matter what, we'll work together to get that all taken care of.
The most important takeaway from this section is for you to have confidence that Creative Sports Photography's priority is your safety and to be ideal guests when we're on someone else's property.
Choosing a location for your athlete or high school senior portraits is a crucial step in the lead up to your photo session. And I'll be there to help guide you toward making the best decision.
Dave is the owner of and chief image maker at Creative Sports Photography, which provides elite portrait services to athletes. Contact Dave by clicking here.