Steampunk is a fascinating retro-futuristic aesthetic that combines Victorian-era style with steam-powered technology and science fiction elements. It’s a visual feast for the eyes, full of gears, goggles, corsets, and alternative history. Capturing the essence of steampunk in a photo shoot allows you to create stunning images that transport viewers to another world. Choosing the right location is key to an effective steampunk photoshoot. The setting should complement the costumes and props while providing interesting backdrops and textures. Here is a list of great places to consider for your next steampunk-themed photo session:
Abandoned Factories and Warehouses
Old industrial sites like abandoned factories and warehouses are ideal for steampunk photography. Their rusty machinery, peeling paint, and sheer scale provide the perfect backdrop.
Some great options include:
- Empty textile mills with old looms and equipment
- Defunct train depots full of tracks and antique trains
- Crumbling automobile plants overgrown with vegetation
- Deserted steel foundries with giant furnaces and anvils
Props like goggles, ray guns, and leather satchels will really make the models pop against these post-industrial backdrops.
Just be sure to scout the location thoroughly and watch your step!
Old Train Stations and Railways
Train travel was the height of technology in the late 1800s. What better place for a steampunk shoot than an old railway?
Gorgeous terminals with arched doorways, iron trusses, and cavernous interiors are ideal settings. If you can access the tracks, pose models in front of parked antique trains.
- Use the textured tunnels and gritty platforms of underground metro stations
- Explore above-ground terminals full of elaborate Victorian details
- Find an abandoned railway bridge for edgy images amidst the metal structure
- Capture action shots of models pretending to board or disembark a train
The possibilities are endless for dynamic steampunk train photography. Just ensure proper safety precautions if doing a shoot on active tracks.
Clock Towers and Giant Clocks
As mentioned in this article about steampunk clocks, timepieces are an integral part of the steampunk aesthetic. What better way to showcase this than at a towering clock building?
Great options include:
- Town square clock towers
- Train station clocks
- Clocks mounted on old brick factories or schools
- Giant outdoor clock faces like Big Ben
Use the array of gears and Roman numerals as your backdrop.
Position models directly beneath the looming clock hands overhead. It’s both beautiful and thematically relevant for steampunk style.
Libraries and Museums
Libraries and museums serve as repositories of knowledge and history – perfect for neo-Victorian science!
Grand institutions full of dark wood, spiral staircases, and cavernous halls offer an atmospheric setting for your models.
Specific areas to utilize include:
|Libraries||Stacks of leatherbound books|
Ornate reading rooms Spiral staircases
Taxidermied animal exhibits Skeletons and fossils Victorian-era artifacts
With the right styling, props, and poses you can create images that truly meld past and future in these settings.
Steampunk Maker Spaces
For a shoot where everything is on theme, visit or create your own steampunk maker space. These workshop areas allow you to surround your models with all the trappings of steampunk tech.
Useful items include:
- Boxes, crates and barrels
- Gears, pipes, and gauges
- Maps, schematics, and antique stationery
- Telescopes, magnifying glasses, flasks
Without leaving the space, you can photograph models tinkering over plans, calibrating fantastical machinery, or peering through steam-powered telescopes.
The cohesive setting will transport viewers.
Gritty city streets and alleys also make an ideal steampunk location. The juxtaposition of old and new architecture provides visual interest.
Areas to focus on include:
- Smoggy factories belching smoke
- Gargoyles on Gothic revival buildings
- Ornate victorian storefronts and townhouses
- Cobbled side streets and rusty fire escapes
Position models strolling through foggy alleyways, lurking in a doorway, or candidly walking across an urban street.
The surrounding city texture will ground your shoot in steampunk reality.
The Natural World
Steampunk isn’t all gears and smoke. Incorporating natural elements creates visual depth and interest. Victorians were fascinated by science and naturalism.
Models dressed in steampunk finery while exploring the outdoors make for unforgettable images.
Great options include:
- Forests with massive trees, moss, and rocky outcrops
- Beaches with driftwood, seaweed, and crashing waves
- Crumbling statues and fountains in an overgrown garden
- An old arched bridge over a misty river
Use natural light and let the textures of nature contrast with the hard lines of your costumes and props. It creates a palpable sense of a past world right on the edge of modernity.
Other Noteworthy Locations
From moody Gothic architecture to fantastical realms, there are endless possibilities:
- Cathedral interiors like Notre Dame with vaulted ceilings and stained glass
- An ornate historic cemetery with crooked headstones
- The decayed ballroom of a Victorian mansion
- Movie-set castles or fantasy lands
- An antique car show or historic village
- Inside an old submarine or ship cabin
- Speakeasies always capture the glam of steampunk
Look for places that exude drama, history, and imagination. Even everyday urban sites can be made steampunk with the right photography approach.
Get creative with locations and let the models’ period costumes shine.
The most important thing is choosing a location that visually complements the steampunk theme. These industrial ruins, vintage landmarks, and gritty urban spaces provide the perfect backdrop. Just be safe, scout your shoot site thoroughly, and think outside the box.
With the right combination of models, props, costumes, and imaginative locations, you can capture enthralling images that bring steampunk style to life.
Are there any particularly good locations you wish to share? Let us know in the comments below. Let us know how your photo shoot goes in the comments!