Behind the Scenes: Location Scouting for a Portrait

Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  I thought I might start off the week by giving you a little peek behind the curtain of my job as a photographer.  My client, Ryan, is establishing himself as a DJ, and wants a portrait that projects an edgy vibe.  The artistic opportunities for this project are limitless, so I was excited about the prospects for getting Ryan the best portrait possible and maybe opening up a new type of portrait client going forward.

Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
The Brooklyn Bridge, with tourist

I began, as always with my portrait clients, by setting up a Pinterest board and pinning photos of other DJs so that Ryan and I could be on the same page, visually.  Ryan liked the ideas I had put together, and additionally suggested some toning to the final prints to give the photos a super creative look.  [I’ll write more about that after the project finishes.]

The next task was for me to scout out several locations for the shoot.  A lonely, industrial, and urban feel unites all of the photos, so I was looking for places where you would find warehouses, factories, and lots of negative space.  While I know Brooklyn is crawling with locations like these, it also has a higher population density in these locations.  Instead, I was looking for places not overrun by hipsters.  And so I concentrated my search on two areas: downtown near the former Fulton Fish Market and Long Island City near the Queensborough Bridge.

Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams

There are advantages to both locations, so it will be up to Ryan to decide which best suits the portrait.  On the one hand, with downtown you can utilize the skyscrapers to add a true NYC feel.  Long Island City, however, has much more colorful graffiti and you can get the best view of Manhattan from across the East River.  Here are the photos from downtown:

Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Gate with graffiti on South Street, near Beekman and Peck Slip

Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Looking out from the Fulton Fish Market
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
The former Fulton Fish Market
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
The former Fulton Fish Market
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
South Street
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and FDR overpasses at Dover and South Streets
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Dover and South Streets
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Dover and Front Streets
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Water Street, looking west
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of Platt, Maiden, and William Streets
Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of Platt, Maiden, and William Streets

 

Photo of downtown New York City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of Platt, Maiden, and William Streets

And here are photos from Long Island City:

Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Corner of 13th Street and Queens Plaza
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Underneath the Queensborough Bridge
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Underneath the Queensborough Bridge
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
The base of the Queensborough Bridge
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Underneath the Queensborough Bridge
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Queensbridge Park

 

 

 

Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Old structure at Queensbridge Park
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Brick detail from the old structure at Queensbridge Park
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
The view from Queensbridge Park
Photo of Long Island City for an article on NYC band portrait locations, by NYC photojournalist, Kelly Williams
Queensbridge Park

I’ll keep you posted on the project; the portrait is scheduled for this Sunday (barring any bad weather).  Interested in finding out more about what goes on behind the scenes?  Drop me a line; I would love to hear from you.


To see more of my work, such as these NYC band portrait locations, please visit my website.

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