This is the topic behind a recent video from Mango Street Lab over on YouTube. In the video, the team talks about how they approach looking for locations around town, and how they find interesting compositions even in grungy semi-scary places. This is a really important skill to have if you hope to take more interesting pictures while out and about in your hometown.
The first tip that Mango Street shares in the video has to do with paying attention to the color and texture of the scene you are shooting in. The example that they show is a wall painted an off-white color, with a green bush hanging down from it. They point out that this mixture, neutral white with the green, helps to evoke natural outdoorsy feelings from views — especially when paired with the earth tones that their model was wearing.
The second tip the team shared is not all that surprising, but has to do with lighting — more specifically, how the daylight is interacting with your scene and model. One idea they point out is to go to a nearby parking garage which will almost assuredly have some interesting light that you can use to highlight your subjects for some interesting portraits.
For the final tip, the guys at Mango Street say to look for locations that your models or subject can be interactive with. For example, the railing of a garage staircase, or a swingset at the local park. The key here is that the interactivity adds to the image and does not take away from it. Whatever your subject is doing, it should make sense.
Hopefully these tips will help you think outside of the box with your next outdoor photo session. For more fun tips like this check out the other videos that Mango Streel Lab has to offer over on their YouTube channel.