Location scouting is a huge part of being an on-location portrait photographer. I'm looking for a very specific set of features when location scouting: my number one goal is to find a lot of visual variety within a relatively small walking area. The Meek Estate Park in Haward is a great example.
The gazebo is adjacent to a large well maintained lawn with nice even lighting. The main structure is the Meek Estate, which is a Victorian style mansion. It has a back patio with wooden columns looking out onto the gazebo. The landscaping around the house features lots of different colors and textures.
Behind the house there is a fruit orchard. Possibly apple trees? I definitely saw a fig tree there too.
Another feature I'm always on the look out for is places to sit down. And Meek Estate has this: there are benches in several spots and also stairs. This is important to me because it allows us to work in a much larger variety of poses than just standing or sitting on the ground (which can be tricky in a dress or skirt).
Being a huge plant nerd, I also love the fact that there is a garden next to the house. These grasses are just spectacular- I love the color gradient they create and how they light up in the afternoon sun.
Pathways are also a nice feature to have at a venue. They create leading lines that direct the eye to YOU in the picture. Again, Meek Estate has plenty of them.
Finally (and I didn't take a picture of this), Meek Estate has restrooms. This is nice for obvious reasons but also it makes changing outfits a breeze. If you would like to shoot your senior portrait at Meek Estate, this is a fantastic option. Click on the "Contact" tab and we'll get started arranging your session!
A cherry blossom shoot has been on my bucket list forever. I've been kind of obsessed with cherry blossoms for a long time. In fact, I actually used a fine art Japanese paper called Chiyogami featuring a cherry blossom print for my wedding invitations. At any rate, this year I finally pulled off the shoot-- thanks in no small part to this phenomenal team of girls who managed to pull my style vision into reality with a scant 4 days notice.
As soon as the white flowering trees started to pop, I went to check on the grove of pink ones and sure enough they were about a week out. The weather was an amazing 70 degrees for February. Everything just came together like magic. Enjoy!
At our Galentine's shoot Team 19 had fun playing around with some heart props, making valentines, and hanging out while listening to music. Oh yeah, we also took some pictures...and pictures of taking pictures... Happy Valentine's/Galentine's Day!
After a whirlwind couple of weeks, with a record number of applications, I'm proud to announce the thirteen members of Team 19! These lovely young ladies will be representing Samantha Grant Photography over the coming year and will be featured in a number of stylized shoots. Stay tuned to see great things from this fantastic group of local students!
I am a high school senior portrait photographer in the SF east bay area.