Locations for Outdoor Portraits on Long Island
Used to be folk could just roll up to one of their favorite parks on Long Island, unload their camera and lighting gear, meet their subjects, and carry on with their photo session, sans permit. Recently I checked out Bayard Cutting Arboretum’s website to see ‘What’s Blooming’, and noticed the photography menu. If you show up with a camera and a person, and it smells like a portrait shoot, you’ll have to present your pre-arranged $250 permit which allows you an hour and half of shooting time! Requiring permits for photography started trending – not sure how long ago (since I’ve been shooting on my property for the past 40 years here in Patchogue) – and the permits seem to start at $100 and go up from there – no doubt the reason I often see requests on facebook for recommendations on where to shoot… engagement portraits, kids, families, etc., preferably for free.
Our island has a great many beautiful sites for portraits, including amazing beaches, but finding one (especially in the case of beaches) without an audience in your background can be tricky. One park has even banned portrait shoots on their property – apparently too many groups conducting sessions asking visitors to move out of their shots, simply distracting from the serenity of the park, and just as annoying, leaving trash behind and not cleaning up after themselves.
The digital revolution brought about a burgeoning number of photographers, I would think, in every genre, including portrait work. Many studios were started in homes, and many studios across the country closed, storefronts that could no longer bear the brunt of economic downfalls and the increased competition in general. I couldn’t begin to guess the number of photographers on Long Island now, a geographic land mass with a dense population of nearly 8 million. Certainly many many more than when I started my studio in 1984, and even up to early 2000s. Also no clue as to how many studios have outdoor gardens in which to photograph dreamy portraits, almost all year. Which leads me to this – what a joy it’s been all these years to have this acre, fashion little vignettes perfect for portraits, build the English Cottage, place the stone walls just so, and create so many legacy portraits that grace the homes of my clients. If you’re listening… Thank You for entrusting me with the honor!
It’s late May, the garden is green and luscious, and we’re looking forward to see your smiling faces again (or for the first time!) this summer…and fall…and even for your Christmas portraits, outdoors if you like!
Have a lovely June!
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