In this day and age, with Instagrammable content being a prized possession by many, it's no surprise that one of a photographer's biggest tasks is finding the best photoshoot locations. You might find yourself asking "what makes a good photoshoot location?" and that's exactly what we want to answer for you in this read.
Why is location important in photography?
This is so important because not only does a photographer want to find a location that fits the theme or event they are shooting, but it also has to fall in line with technical aspects as well such as logistics, lighting composition, and so forth, and for all of those to be perfectly aligned, can be tricky. So let's dive into how to scout out the best spots.
1. Figuring Out Your Theme
When it comes to the shoot, you want to figure out what the theme is and pull inspiration to make that theme come to life. For example, if you are shooting engagement photos, you are going to want to speak with the client, decide on the aesthetic and feel they are going for, and pull on elements that cater to their theme. If they want a bohemian shoot, maybe you're scouting flower fields and land with forest and grassy knolls. Or if they want an elegant and upscale shoot, maybe you're looking at venues for indoor photoshoots such as an upscale hotel or museum.
Let's say you are shooting professional headshots. Now you're looking for photoshoot venues with simple backgrounds and muted, neutral tones rather than bright colors and distracting backgrounds. You may know what colors your client will be wearing so you can do some added research based on how your client will be presented. Figuring out your theme will help influence the perfect photoshoot location.
Lighting is one of the most crucial elements as a photographer and you want to make sure you get it right. Do you want the early blue tones of the morning that can be great for landscape shots or do you prefer golden hour, with the warm rich tones that are great for nature shots? Golden hour can also be great for portrait shots since the light is warm and naturally eliminates flaws and harsh shadows. The only way you will know what type of lighting you are looking for is by doing your research. Actually, go out and visit the location so you can see for yourself. Look at other photographers and where they have shot prior to getting an idea of what you're looking for. You can even use Google Earth now for 3D renderings that can help you zoom in on specific shoot locations and all the angles.
You will also want to find an ideal photoshoot location based on your additional needs for the shoot. If you are shooting at a photoshoot venue, you may not have as much to think about, however, if you are shooting outdoors, the details get more complicated. Are there bathrooms around where you or your team can freshen up and use the facilities? Do you have shelter nearby in case it rains or the weather takes a turn for the worst? If you're carrying a lot of equipment, is the location easily accessible or will you need to hike to get there? Is there parking for everyone who will be present at the shoot? Will models be changing? Do they have changing rooms where they can easily switch in and out of clothes in? These are all the details you will want to consider before your shoot as you're scouting so that the location is as easy and convenient as possible.
4. Licenses and Permits
This last tip is one that is often forgotten or overlooked. You will want to make sure you do your research on permits and licenses to be sure that you are allowed to shoot at a specific location. Sometimes you have to go through a city to get specific permission to shoot. With drones nowadays, you may also need specific permission to fly or at certain times only. Some examples of places that may require a permit from local authorities are private and public places, parks, gardens, historical landmarks and buildings, and so forth. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
We hope when you find yourself searching "photoshoot rental space near me" you consider some of the tips we've laid out for you today. These will make your location scouting easier and helpful tips top of mind as you start your search. At Brick Room LA Venues, we have many people rent out our space for photoshoots on various projects and are always happy to discuss your vision further with you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I need a permit?
A: You need to do your research. A lot of times you will be able to find information of other photographers sharing that you need a permit, or to be safe, you can always call the local authorities to find out.
Q: If I'm not sure what kind of lighting I want, how do I figure that out?
A: Do a few test runs. If you are not sure what you want or what you're looking for, take some test shots so when it comes time for your actual shoot, you are confident.
Q: What if I have a different vision than my client for the theme?
A: This is where communication is key. Trying to meet your client where they are will keep them happy but also allows you to give creative direction and feedback since you're the photographer.