Chances are you have a few go-to locations for shooting. They are the locations guaranteed to get you the shots your new clients have seen in your portfolio and on social media. Your go-to locations are awesome when a client is down for wherever you want to shoot, but what if you’re travelling to somewhere new for a session? Or what if you’re travelling for fun and decide to sneak in a few sessions along your adventure? That is where the art of location scouting comes in.
Location scouting can be a little intimidating if you don’t do it often. The first time a client wants to shoot somewhere new, you might trust the client has a little bit of knowledge and can pick out a location that will work… but, can you really trust your client that much? The answer is generally no unless your client is a photographer. Location scouting can actually be quite easy and efficient if you know what to do.
Here are my top 3 tips to location scouting that you can implement instantly with your next shoot that is in an unfamiliar place.
Tip 1 – Consider what you already know.
Take a moment and think about what you already know about where you’ll be. If you’re travelling to somewhere new, think about what’s in the area. Do you know of any photographers who shoot in this area often? Do you know any locations nearby that you’ve seen or heard of before? Take a few moments and consider that you may already have a great location stored somewhere in your memory.
Tip 2 – Instagram search
All photographers tend to use hashtags that join their location and their style of photography. I use hashtags like #banfffamilyphotographer and #reddeerfamilyphotographer. A quick search of these hashtags on Instagram and you’ll see my photos and be inspired by them for locations. Consider the location hashtag of where you’ll be going and look it up to see where other photographers in the area shoot. I was recently in palm springs so a quick search of #palmspringsfamilyphotographer led me to some amazing locations!
Tip 3 – Peerspace
Peerspace is like Airbnb for photographers. The idea of a rain date isn’t really a thing when you’re travelling to shoot and time may be limited. Peerspace allows you to rent locations by the hour so you can use it for an awesome family session if the weather decides it doesn’t want to cooperate. Since these spaces are designed for photographers to use, you can feel good knowing that the space will be great for photos and you won’t show up trying to figure out yet another option.
Shooting out of your comfort zone of home can be a little stressful but also super fun if you bring your best, show your clients how fun a session can be, and embrace the imperfections of being in a new space. Don’t forget to check the sunrise and sunset times and you’ll be good to go.
What are your best tips for location scouting?