I love shooting downtown. Love it. But only twice now has it been requested for a photo session. The first time was almost a year ago. And until a recent session, I had forgotten how great it is. My love has been renewed by urban-vibes that only the city can give. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve visited beautiful places filled with trees and tall grass, some even multiple times, and they have been wonderful backdrops. But downtown is so… Louisville.
I think downtown Louisville has a stigma; it’s not clean, sometimes unsafe and why would someone want to walk down random streets, having no definite plan, for their portraits? I’m here to tell you it’s not these things. At least not entirely. Sure, there are abandoned buildings, broken glass and the occasional stranger asking for a light. But there’s so much more!
It’s hard to imagine color in a downtown setting, but Louisville is chocked full of it. Different color buildings, painted brick, bright doors, did someone say graffiti? It puts a completely different spin on a portrait that nature cannot provide. And it is everywhere, you just have to find it.
Discovering – that’s the other fun part of shooting downtown. Essentially, it’s a photowalk, finding places, things, colors and light that catches our eyes. Yes. Our eyes. Mine and the people I’m with. Taking something we already find visually interesting and creating an image that they’ll love. It might not work every time, but I enjoy flexing my creative muscles and trying new moves that even yoga instructors aren’t familiar with.
Most importantly, the light is amazing. Open shade is my best friend and alleys have the best shade. The buildings block direct sunlight from all directions, providing the best lighting scenario. It’s flattering to your subjects and, as the photographer, you have the ability to work the space to it’s fullest.
Lastly, it’s fun! Walking, talking, stopping to snap a few frames, tell some jokes, act silly, snap a few more and then keep walking. You never know what you’ll see, where we’ll end up or how awesome your photos will turn out.
All the photos in this post where taken in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. And both couples are way fabulouso. Love them to bits!