Finding the perfect location for your photoshoot is almost as important as the photography itself. Therefore, it pays to do your homework.
A common question I see on many photography forums and on social media, is how to find a photoshoot location that meets specific needs. Somewhere that suits the theme, and the feel of the shoot. While also being logistically sound. This isn't always easy, but today, I'm going to share my top tips that should make it more straightforward.
How to Find Your Photoshoot Location
It's best if I break down my process into stages, that way it'll be easier for you to tick them off as you go.
Pick a Theme
What kind of photoshoot is it going to be? When you already know what the theme of your next session is inspired by, or is meant to be for, it’ll make it easier to find a setting or a location that compliments your general idea.
Photoshoot lighting is by far the most crucial element during a session. The morning blue light is a great time to take pictures of city landscapes or famous landmarks inside the city like palaces, monuments, city squares and other historical buildings that are beautifully lit up. Whereas, the golden hour is perfect for nature shots taken at the beach, mountains and other landscapes when the sun is rising or setting. The golden hours are also great for outdoor portraits, as they provide soft lighting and don't throw too many harsh shadows on the subject.
The best possible way to get comfortable with the lighting is to actually spend some time in the location before the day of the actual shoot. You can get a sense of how the light plays during different times of the day. That way, you can decide ‘for’ or ‘against’ shooting in certain spaces of your location according to the direction of the sunlight. Writing down these observations along with their specific times can make things a lot easier for you on the day of the shoot.
The perfect photoshoot location should offer you at least the basic requirements. Shelter from the weather, convenience such as food and water (coffee), and somewhere you can freshen up. Parking is also crucial if you're bringing in lots of heavy equipment.
Permission for a Photoshoot
Some public places, such as parks and gardens, historical landmarks and buildings might require a licence to photograph there. This is applicable, especially when you are using photoshoot equipment like tripods, lighting, and generators that might cause some kind of inconvenience to the public. Getting in touch with the local authorities and getting the required permission letter can save you a lot of mess and confusion further down the line.