A great location can definitely enhance a portrait session. Urban sites, with their various textures and colors, architecture and strong lines, offer the photographer and model a range of backdrops in a relatively small area. The long, empty roads, open fields and vast sky of the countryside can convey thoughtful solitude. A weathered barn or rusty tractor reminds us of the presence of the past and the passing of time. The woods have a mysterious atmosphere. The woods are where the stories we were told as children happened. Whether bare in the winter or thick with foliage, there is still a sense of something out beyond our sight.
Most of us have access to these places. You may have some together or within walking distance. One thing I really like about shooting in the Fort Worth Stockyards is the availability of urban and rural settings all in one place. Parks may have a mixture of wild nature and manicured gardens. Remember, as the photographer you choose what your audience sees. Maybe you've seen an example where a very neat and tidy portrait is presented. Looking at the image, you might assume the photographer has a large studio to work in. However, the next photo you are shown is taken from a wider angle, and you can see the model is surrounded in clutter. Frame the shot. If you aren't aware of the layout of the Fort Worth Stockyards, then you probably wouldn't know there is a parking lot just out of sight to the right of the photo below.
No doubt, I like to get out and move around when I'm on a shoot. But what if for some reason your options are limited? Should you just wait for a better time? No way. Catch what's going on now. Train yourself to compose in tight spots, navigating the distractions. A good portrait can be achieved even in your own front yard. Here are a few taken in front of you home.