Professional Photographer should always scout for new photography session locations.
First, it diversifies the portfolio and second, it challenges the photographer to work with a different light and background settings.
Going to the same outdoor park ad take over and over the same photo will not be beneficial for the creativity.
How do You find new photography locations?
It was a time, internet did not exist. Now, with technology has come to your rescue: Computer and smartphone.
Here a short list of scouting tools:
What would be our sense of orientation without Google Earth? This is amazing tool to explore an area without leaving your couch. I’m sure you are familiar with it: you can zoom in or zoom out an area little bit closer, and have a look for areas that look interesting from above. If you’re shooting landscapes, this can be really useful, as you will be able to see the topology of the area.
The same is true if you’re looking to find a more industrial part of town, as that will stand out on a map quite easily. Have a look at this video below to see Google Earth location scouting in action.
Google Street View:
Once you have a new location, check google street views it is offers a virtual tour. Google is good at showing pretty much every road view from different angles.
Here an example of our favorite park in Mountain View
Here an interesting article about finding perfect photography location with google map
This amazing app helps to find when and where sunrise or sunset shoot will happen.
If you have a photo session in a park you are not used to and this photography session appears to be scheduled near sunset, well with PhotoPills, you will now where and when the sun will set.
A must is to visit the location before
Once you have found this new location on your computer; we recommend you drive and visit it before the shoot.
You don’t really meet the clients there and realized the area is closed or part of it is remodeled.
One thing you can do is to grab a kid (yours if you have one or a friend’s) and do a few test shots in the area you wish to take clients to.
Test shot in a newly location :
Urban and abandoned location:
Great photography session location should not always been outdoor park or forest.
Abandoned location could offer great background settings. Those type of locations could be great for Engagement, glamour session or wedding “trash the dress” session.
Maybe less for a family portrait.
Gorgeous driveways, public parking lots, vacant lots etc. can offer great photo.
Urban shoots are a blast.
I wish I could do more and had more requests for them.
The below shot was taken by a parking lot after the family session was over.
The park was just behind the main street.
I walked back with the client and I passed a nice wall brick.
I asked the client to put her daughter by the wall and I snapped quickly this shot.
Don’t break the law:
Most public parks have specific photography laws, rules or guidelines. Ensure you check them. You might need to pay a little fee to shoot.
Take the time to do due diligence before going out on location. Again you don’t want to show up at the park with your client and have a park ranger asking you to leave because you have no permit.
If you love this article and you live in Bay Area, we have listed here our favorite Bay Area photography locations.
thanks for ready,