Location, Location, Location

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Where, When, How.
Courtesy of @theshutupkid.

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@theshutupkid asked: “I love how in many of your photos, you have some amazing locations that are pretty deserted save for you in the picture. What are the logistics of finding, prepping, and optimizing your use of the location? And do you ever feel self conscious when there are onlookers when you’re shooting? How do you overcome that, if so?

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When it comes to planning a photoshoot, I don’t actually plan at all. I think it’s become very straight-forward when shooting with Justin. Since we’re a team of two, we just need the outfit and we can shoot practically anywhere.

Although, I’ve always dreamt of having an extensive shoot with hair and make-up team, etc., we’ve always just shot on college campuses and parking garages. They’re the best for especially beginning bloggers who have a hard time shooting with a curious audience.

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When it comes to finding new places, we usually stumble upon them when driving around. Other locations, we’re really lucky to find due to Justin’s photographer friends who scout on their own time too. Sometimes Justin will shoot other bloggers who will share their locations with him.

 

It’s all a communal effort. After all, we’re all doing the same thing in the same city. Why be selfish?

 

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Other times, in the rare instance that someone doesn’t broadly geotag a location, we’ll find some cool spots via the gram.

 

Typically we like to avoid spots that are used by every photographer ever lived like The Walt Disney Concert Hall or the LA River. It’s too generic.

 

I also think there’s no shame in reusing locations. Sometimes Justin approaches a location with a new perspective, new editing style or new lens. That’s the best way you can use a location to it’s fullest potential.

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I think I always feel awkward at the beginning of a shoot because I’m just warming up. That’s why, I try to practice a bit in front of a camera via Snapchatting or taking selfies. When you know you look good, you feel good.

 

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In the end, people will always look when you’re shooting. They’re just curious beings and at that point, it’s mind over matter or if they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind. I ignore my surroundings and to be honest, tunnel visioning takes a lot of practice.

 

You really can’t be bothered by what you think other people are thinking about you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Blogging really requires you to grow thicker skin.

 

You have to be vulnerable to succeed.

 

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I remember when Justin and I went to Oregon where blogging wasn’t a known thing, so when we did all these shoots, EVERYONE looked. I think I had the hardest time shooting in those circumstances. Luckily, when I looked at them, they would smile back. It was an accepting and endearing notion I could never forget.

 

But unfortunately, LA is not that way.

 

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Sometimes the best way to work your way up to feeling natural in front of a camera is practicing poses by yourself or envisioning yourself as Beyoncé. Become a character and commit to their poise. It will translate so well. I promise.

 

I used to play music when shooting to help me get into character but some locations (the kind that has high security and will definitely kick you out) won’t let you take the time to do so.

 

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Every now and then, you’ll get the rude men who try catcalling or honking at you to distract you on purpose. That can be super uncomfortable and can even hurt your confidence when shooting. I’ve been there, and the solution is really remembering your purpose.

 

The person honking will not know he diminished your self-esteem nor will he remember that he did that and so you should forget that it ever happened or that these people are watching.

 

You are here to do you. You are here to do work. So do it.

 

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Jacket and skirt via Sammydress / Boots via Ego Official

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Photography by Justin Quebral

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