Shoot Location Tips

The location can make or break a photograph. If you shoot on location, meaning you don’t work out of a studio, you can truly employ your creativity in finding the perfect spot for your shoot to give the image the best surroundings.

Shoot Locations

 

1. Scouting

As a photographer, one of the more exciting parts of the job is scouting. This involves going on walks and snapping photos along the way. By doing this, you can list ideas as you actually see the image on film, taking photos on the walk forces you to slow down and really imagine the possibilities as well as pay much closer attention to detail.

2. Consider the Lighting

Even if you have discovered the most aesthetically-pleasing shoot location, the final product will only work if you ensure proper lighting. By follow the first step in scouting, you should already have a good idea of how the area will be lit. You must consider the time of day in which you plan your photo shoot in that location.

Shoot Locations - Lighting

Once you schedule the shoot, revisit the location at the same time of day and make sure the lighting will be appropriate. You may have to incorporate synthetic light to truly capture the scene. It’s never a bad idea to bring along a friend to stand in the picture to see how the light will illuminate them.

3. Organize Your Images

As you grow your photography business, you will encounter dozens of clients, each with their own unique goals for the final product. Take advantage of each location scouting you perform by creating an easily accessible file. You will begin to accumulate a large library of potential shoot locations that you and your client can browse together. Not only does this free your time, but it better ensures your client will get exactly what they are looking for. For clients who don’t have a clear grasp on what they prefer, this is a great way to get their creative juices flowing.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Time is precious, whenever you find a moment when you are not busy doing something else, take the time to practice. The more time you spend working on proper lighting and composition, the better able you will be at producing high-quality photos for your clients. Practice makes perfect, and you will inevitably learn new ideas and concepts with each practice session you embark on.

5. LCD Image Not Always Accurate

Not all that long ago, photographers had to wait for film to develop before they could get an idea of how the image would look, in our modern era, we can now see the image on the LCD of the camera. As convenient as this is, you should never rely on this image. Both direct and indirect light on location can skew the image, causing you to inadvertently misread what’s actually on the screen. Before you decide on a location based on the image on your LCD, take the time to go indoors in a low-lit room to view the image or use your camera’s blink blown out highlights option if available.

Shoot Locations - Direct Light

 

6. Consider the Client

While looking the perfect location, it can be easy to forget about the person or people who will be appearing in the photo. The location you choose should compliment them and consider their overall goals for the final product, while a serene outdoor setting may work for a wedding picture, it may not be appropriate for a rock band looking for the perfect album cover. Keep the client’s goals in mind as you scout.

7. Alternatives

Even after you and your client have decided on the ideal location, it’s crucial to plan ahead with alternatives possibilities. The unexpected can and does happen, and lack of preparation can lead to a disastrous session and an unhappy client.

8. Proper Planning for Day of Shoot

Planning is absolutely crucial. On the day of the shoot, you should have already prepared a list of all the materials you will need such as lighting equipment and props, you should also note any special requests made by the client to ensure you don’t forget any intricate details. Your primary goal is to satisfy the client, and coming to the shoot completely prepared shows you are organized and pay close attention to detail.

Shoot Location - Alternatives

Reputation is Key, whether you are a novice photographer or have been in the business for years, it’s important to never stop learning. Location shooting requires research and understanding. A large part of your success is reliant on word-of-mouth, and a quality picture is worth a thousand words.

 

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