When it comes to creating standout images for your next campaign, editorial, or photos to market your brand, it's important to scout the location before your photoshoot. The golden hour only lasts so long, and great lighting can set the tone for the ultimate shot in your storyboard.
When time is limited, it's essential to scope out the scene before the day of your shoot so you can get a clear picture of the lighting conditions, how busy the location will be, and what tools you'll need to execute your vision.
Here's what to look for when location scouting and why you should do your research before every shoot.
Look for the light
Visit the location at the time of day you plan to shoot to check for harsh lighting or shadows. If you're shooting indoors, check to see which way the light shines in, so you can take advantage of any natural light.
If lighting is an issue, take notes of the type of lighting equipment you'll need to create the perfect snaps. Lighting is everything when it comes to quality photos, and when you're hiring a model, photographer, and a team to build your brand images, you want to make sure you get it right.
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Do your research
Time spent scouting is your chance to experiment with new options. Test different angles to see what stands out. If you're planning to shoot on a sidewalk or street, check to see how busy it gets during the time you plan to take photos so you can work around the crowds. Visit during different days to see if there are fewer people on the weekdays instead of weekends.
It's also a good idea to do your research so you can take into account how easy or safe your location is to get to. Check to see if you need a permit or if you have to ask for permission beforehand. The last thing you want to do is hire a crew, get to your location, and realize that you're not allowed to shoot there.
Tools to help you location scout
Use Pinterest and Instagram to help you build a mood board for your photos.
If you can't make it to your location before your shoot, you can orbit the world in 3D using Google Earth. You can zoom in and out, and get a realistic ground-level view of your location, for those times you just can't get there beforehand.
When location scouting, always be on the lookout for creative spaces.
Get lost on purpose.
Don't be afraid to experiment and always take notes of any new potential locations that catch your eye. It's also not a bad idea to have a backup plan for those scenarios when things don't go as planned.
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