Location, Location, Location – Breaking Down a Styled Shoot…


If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that location is everything. The location of your apartment in relation to your job affects how well your daily commute goes (and your morning mood)…your apartment in relation to a local bagel shop affects your Saturday morning breakfast in the park (and your morning mood)…and choosing the right location for a photo shoot most definitely affects the light you will shoot in…and my mood, which for me, also affects the creative inspiration I get during a shoot!

So when it came time to fill out the location permit for the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for the Goddess Bridal Shoot (more about that here), I carefully studied the map below to determine where we’d want to be. As an added bonus, the Gardens updates this map daily in the springtime with a “Cherry Blossom Watch” feature, using coded stars to pinpoint which trees have started blooming and those that are in peak or post bloom. Considering Cherry Blossoms were a must for this shoot, I checked back everyday, in addition to discussing the matter with Sofia prior to sending in the final permit info.


Based on the trees that were blooming in mid-April, I finally selected the popular Cherry Blossom Esplanade and the Japanese HIll and Pond Garden. The Esplanade was a given, but having been to the Gardens before, I knew the pond area would have some beautifully shaded paths to help combat the harsh afternoon sunlight (so long as it didn’t rain, which has become an almost-certain caveat on shoot-days!) Two days before the shoot, those trees around the pond started to bloom, making for this gorgeous shot below…


Of course there are always surprises when shooting on location. This archway, just before the rose garden, fit perfectly into the Greek goddess, Mediterranean-feel of the shoot…


Never take a location for granted! The image below, left, doesn’t look like anything special until you snap on an 85mm, f/1.8 lens. Suddenly the trees have subtle color in the background and the bokeh is just gorgeous…


And then if you want a shot like the one below, sometimes you have to get creative and take turns holding a reflector to block out the sun completely…




Finally, it’s always important to work with location staff members. Our shoot day ended up being a gorgeous, sunny, April afternoon in the midst of Cherry Blossom season. Needless to say, the garden paths were pretty crowded. Special thanks to Sofia and our security guard (regrettably I can not remember his name!) who stopped traffic long enough to get some “I-think-we’re-alone-now” looking shots! And now I’ll be singing Tiffany songs for the rest of the day…



For more info on getting a location permit for the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, click here.



Photography: Cyrience Photography (www.cyrience.com) and Alexis June Weddings (www.alexisjuneweddings.com)*

Location: Brooklyn Botanical Garden (www.bbg.org)

Flowers: Karma Flowers (www.karmaflowers.com)

Hair & Makeup: Sabrina Gilbert (www.sabrinagilbertnyc.com)

Styling: Ashley Espinal of Dulce Dreams Events (www.dulcedreamsevents.com)

Gown: Sarah Jassir from Angelique Bridal (www.angeliquebridal.com)

Hair accessories: Hushed Commotion (www.hushedcommotion.com)

Model: Rachel O’Neill (www.rachelm.co.uk)

*Please note, for copyright reasons, only Cyrience Photography is featured in this post.


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