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STUDIO vs. LOCATION: Things to Consider When Planning a Photoshoot

So you want to do a photoshoot but you’re not quite sure what suits your needs the best?

Today we are comparing studio and location photo sessions, what each type is better for, as well as the pros and cons to consider when planning a shoot.

Before we start, let me ask you a question. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE for the images you’re looking to get? Is it for your social media, a beautiful print to put on a wall, your CV, or a professional portfolio (if you are a model, dancer, or an actor?).


STUDIO Photoshoot is great for:

  • Headshots
  • Modelling portfolio
  • Dance Portfolio
  • Acting portfolio

Get your clean cut commercial headshot, body shots, ready for both print and digital presentation.

A studio session is the best for these in my opinion, because it will eliminate distracting backgrounds and changing weather conditions that might give your hair-do/make-up a hard time.

You will want to make a great first impression, whether it’s an audition, or a job application/interview where your images will speak for you.

LOCATION Photoshoot is great for:

  • Portrait session
  • Lifestyle (for a blog/social media)
  • Fashion Editorial
  • Dance portfolio
  • Modelling portfolio

The location for a photoshoot can be anything from an urban setting, a field/forest, to an apartment or a hotel room.

Give your photos a character and mood, depending on the location you choose. That’s what I love the most about going out of the studio to shoot: tiny little details influence the final images (wind, unexpected light rain, colours of the surroundings, you name it).

As you can see, there are quite a few similarities (regarding portfolios). There are no strict rules to what photos you should do in the studio or on-location, I’m just giving you a direction on how to approach this creative decision.

When you’re working on your artist portfolio to be printed, I would strongly recommend to go for studio shots; less colours in the backdrop, less distractions, controlled environment. If you want to update your online portfolio, let’s say on Instagram, go for a location, as bright, vibrant colours always do better on social media.

A quick breakdown of the things to consider when planning your photoshoot in a studio and a location:

STUDIOControlled environment (lighting, background, weather);
Change outfits more often;
Make-up is done on the spot;
There’s no variety of backdrop options;
LOCATIONAdds character to the images (sun, wind, reflections);
You are not limited by the space (walk, run, jump);
Easy to change locations (if you are bored);
Unpredictable weather;
Location can be crowded (city centre);
You cannot change outfits as often;
Where can you apply make-up?


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