How to Find Locations for Photo Shoots

The most common way to finding locations for a photo shoot, especially by brands, media and marketing agencies or professional photographers is to use a location library to search through locations they have on file, or use a location agency who will find locations for you based on the photo shoot brief.

How to find locations for photoshoots

Using a Location Library

The confusion comes about because many of us say location agency.  Location libraries or location databases means a collection of images and reference information, usually numbered or coded and categorised by location type, building genre or geographical location.

Location libraries provide additional services like administrating the location hire and creating contracts between the production company and location owner.

Many location libraries offer location scouting services, location scouts are paid to travel around a given area to find a location that matches the brief supplied by the production company, and which fits the budget for the shoot.

Some location libraries specialise in a particular type of location whilst others offer a wide range of locations, including commercial and office spaces, industrial and warehouse locations, retail and entertainment, stately homes and country manors and many more.

Using a Location Agency

A location agency finds locations specific to your needs regardless of what those needs are.

Location agents spend all day driving in the city or countryside looking for just the right place. Your specific needs are taken into account, and the location spends time researching your location before they make visits. The location agent also takes the ideas you have for your photo shoots and incorporates those ideas into their search. When you need a warehouse, the location looks for anything that looks like a warehouse. When you need a location that looks like another continent, the location agent takes that into account.

A location agency provides a full report on every location they find. You get to make the final choice of location, but you make that choice based on a complete battery of information. The lighting during the day is tracked and put in the report.

The support that you receive from a location agency does not end until you begin your shoot. The location agency is charged with choosing the locations that you need, but they are also charged with making sure that you are satisfied with the location.

Using the best location for every shoot improve the overall quality of every shoot. You get better pictures with less film and less time. You end up spending less money on your photo shoots because they do not take as long. Also, the information you receive about the location helps you to plan the photo shoot to be as short as possible.

Tips to Planning a Photo Shoot

When planning and preparing a photo shoot, it is important that you include a variety of different elements to make sure that it is the best it can be.

Planning and Developing a Photo Shoot



The first thing that you want to do once you have been contacted to put together a photo shoot is to come up with concepts that you think will make for unforgettable photographs.

Whether it’s a wedding, a day at the park, abandoned buildings or any other type of medium, you have to consider how you plan on making your photos stand out and become a visually inspiring and intriguing piece of art. The better you can develop an idea that you have in your mind for how you want the shoot to look, the easier the process will go for putting it together.


A moodboard allows you to put your concepts to paper and start to build the actual thought process that you have. In doing so, you can create a narrative that will help write the entire story that you are trying to build with your photography session.


Once you have more concrete ideas, it’s time to go out and do some research on previous photo shoots that have been created and developed with the same variables.

For example, if you are shooting a wedding with a unique theme, do some research into that specific theme and see how you can implement your own unique photography style to make for more entertaining photos. This same technique to gain inspiration can also be used for pregnancy photos, school pictures, fashion shoots and much more.

Be Flexible

Unforeseen circumstances are likely going to come up during your photo shoot. If you haven’t figured this out yet, then you probably have yet to do your first real shoot. Whether, personal emotions, location problems, issues with clothing and so many other variables have the potential of going wrong during your photo shoot.

Getting the Most Out of Any Shoot Location

Choosing the right location can be just as important as equipment selection and lighting. Poorly planned shoots and environments that are not able to provide the best results can quickly become a problem ranging in severity from a minor inconvenience to a complete disaster. Taking into account cost and accessibility, deciding on environment that can be utilized with a minimum of expense and doing what you can to avoid any unexpected issues or complications that may crop up can all ensure that you are able to make the most out of your chosen location.


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