Beginners Guide to Photo Shoot Location Scouting

A glamorous model, high-end camera equipment, and a beautiful concept, these are some things you need to have a flawless photograph.

But, the most critical part of any photo shoot is choosing the right location, and this is indeed an important step on the road to a perfect and successful shoot. You might have a terrible shoot experience, and you promise yourself never to let it happen again. But there is one kind of preparedness you might not have even thought of. And this is scouting locations for your shoot, a vital pre-production phase that will help you overcome almost any test when you shoot in the field.

Beginners Guide to Photo Shoot Location Scouting - Shootfactory

Scouting the Perfect Shoot Location

1. Create Your Story

Select a site that meets the required setting of your concept. This is the ultimate rule of scouting a location. As you go to evaluate areas, you’ll probably face innumerable possibilities such as historic landmarks, unique buildings, natural landscapes, metropolitan areas, and waterfront settings. But, remember that above all these, you have a story to tell. Choose a site that lends itself to the concept you want to produce and never be limited by your locations. Sites are merely raw materials. You have to understand what the script requires before you can choose a suitable location.

2. Know Proper Timing

Be reminded that sites can change. So it is wise to check your chosen spot on a certain day of the week as well as the time of the day that you plan to do your shoot. These factors can generate surprisingly great changes on the aptness of a location. Volume of tourists to entertainment and recreation areas and weather conditions of locations may differ dramatically based on the time and day of the week.

3. Check Light Sources

Enclosed locations such as houses, restaurants, auditoriums, museums, and churches generally have low extents of available lighting. Examine brightness levels by taking a few shots. Opening curtains and window blinds adds daylight and may help enhance lighting. In some instances, you may consider to use professional lighting equipment or ask consent to change the bulbs in nearby light units with brighter-burning fixtures.

4. Use Natural Brightness

Natural lighting settings may also be as challenging as the indoors since exterior brightness varies all day long. As you’re looking for locations, check whether a certain spot is in full or partial sun or shade. Bright sun may damage the model’s skin and face. Light-coloured surfaces in full sunlight may cause automatic cameras lenses to under-expose shots. On the other hand, partial sun can be complicated as well. Eventually, you may discover or predict the days with the most consistent results.

5. Consider Natural Elements

Rain, sun, snow, wind, these natural factors may help or damage your shoot, depending on what you are anticipating to capture. It is important to check the weather forecast as you are scouting. Some cameras don’t like moist and rain, moisture from waterfalls, or salty beach air. Filthy lenses and salt or water inside the card reader may bring disaster. Cold weather can easily drain batteries. This is why you have to plan on how to keep your equipment warm. Also, watch out when carrying cameras back into hot or warm interiors from the frosty outdoors as this can cause substantial amounts of dampness to condense inside both electronics and optics.

6. Evaluate Power Sources

A lot of outdoor sites are far from power supplies and even some inside locations can produce AC challenges. With this, multiple camera batteries are at all times a good idea. However, you still have to evaluate your electricity options at any area. In a location with power supplies, plugging in may be possible, but you still have to think about the pre-existing load of the system and whether you can reach the breaker box when something blows.

7. Secure Permission

You need to get permits and other legal consents to shoot at some locations. It is significant to conduct a legal reality check. A lot of property owners will be glad to accommodate you if you request, but if not, you have to choose another site.

8. Adequate Space

Make certain that there is enough space for you to set up your equipment. This is necessary so you will be able to achieve the shots you want. A small room may seem like a great location, but in the end you realise that there is not enough space to position all your gears. Large space like an auditorium or a church may have plenty of room, but roaming freely may not be probable. As you look for locations, validate that you can actually get to the spots you aim to shoot from.

9. Evaluate the Location

Check on communications such as cell phone reception or availability of a nearby pay phone. You also need to anticipate possible break down if you are driving a long way. It is also important to know if there is an available quick food stops or electronics store near the area.

10. Use a Location Library

Having a location library on speed dial is a good idea so you can reference it when you are planning to come up with a location to shoot a new concept. Online location library such like Shootfactory offers exciting locations. Just browse through all the location photos, and you are sure to find something that will work for you.

In your scouting trips for a shoot, you’ll come across countless remarkable locations; any of these will be exceptional and potentially important to you. Choosing the right location will definitely translate into perfect photos.


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