How to Plan Your Landscape Photo Shoot

Patchwork of lands - Yunnan - Photography in China

Thierry Bornier has built his career upon countless, breathtaking landscape shots. While the shots seem to have captured the perfect moment in time, there was a lot of patience and planning behind each to ensure it would have the desired mood and essence that he strives to catch. In many ways, it would be much more convenient to walk out the front door and be able to catch that award winning shot, however that is not how it typically works.

As with any trip, you must prepare for your landscape photography shoot in order to maximize the experience. This is especially true when looking to travel with photography as the main focus. In this post, we’ll explore some questions to have in mind when planning your next landscape photography trip.

Where do you want to shoot?

This is the most basic and fundamental question that you must ask yourself. Whether you’re thinking of a local destination or going international, it is the starting point of your planning process.

If you’re not sure where to start, research it. The internet is full of inspiration for beautiful subjects. (We’re partial to China where the landscapes are diverse and full of beautiful surprises. If you’d like your chance to visit, let us help with the planning by attending one of our photography workshops)

What kind of shot do you want?

Once you have your destination defined, you must start to think about what do you want to capture? Is there a particular element, mood or essence that you want your final shot to embody?

What do you need to make this possible?

Landscape photography is very special in the sense that it is always changing, primarily due to the climate and weather. Once you know where you’re going and what you want your ideal final photo to be, you must research the climate and weather trends that will make your photo come to life. For example, if you’re looking for a sunny shot, you’re not going to want to head to the Caribbean during peak hurricane season when chances of cloudy skies are much higher.

Draw Inspiration

Whether you’re stuck on exactly what kind of shot you’re looking for or just looking for the possibilities that await, we recommend researching the work of other photographers. This will give you insight into the types of light, angles and frames that can be shot.

Some resources we recommend are 500 px, YourShot by National Geographic and Flickr.

Get to Know your Destination

Once you’ve decided where you want to shoot, get familiar with what it has to offer. This could be done before you arrive, however it’s also recommended that you have some time to explore the lay of the land after you’ve arrived to see if there are any special surprises that may await.

Expect the Unexpected

You can plan down to the last “T”, but there’s always the chance for something unexpected. Keep this in mind that you never know what might come up. By keeping an open mind, you never know what you might be able to capture!


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