5 Tips to Scout the Best Photo Locations

Finding new locations for your sessions

Tired of going to the same few places for all your session? Here are five tips for finding new shooting locations!

1. Go on a Photo Walk

It might sounds silly, but take time to pick an area and walk around! You can only see so much from the window of your car. Keep an eye open on date nights, family outings, etc to see if there’s a new backdrop that would work for a session! Look for places that have unique textures, shapes, or lines that can be used to create interest in your image. It’s also great to scout out indoor places to have as back up plans case the weather decides to not cooperate on the day of a shoot or wedding.

2. Lighting

Make sure you are viewing your location during the time that you plan to be shooting your session. (Which is most often during the golden hour.) Lighting can change drastically and a spot that has perfect lighting at one time could be in direct sunlight less than an hour later. Lighting can also give a spot an entirely new perspective depending on what time of day you are there. Don’t forget to look at shadows and how those can be used as well.

3. Take photos and notes

Every one of us has a camera at (almost) all times. So pull out that handy phone and snap a few photos of the area you would like to use. Be sure to make a note of where you found it! There’s nothing worse than getting home and not being able to remember what street you were on when you found that beautiful spot.

4. Networking

Some of the best locations are ones that are kept secret. Network with local business owners, friends and family with awesome property, etc to find locations that are private/semi-private for your session. Orchards, farms, greenhouses, nursery gardens, book stores, coffee shops, etc… A lot of owners would gladly let you come in if you ask first, be respectful of their property, and support their businesses too! (You can always barter trade services for location use too.)

5. Upload your locations into Scout

An awesome feature of Iris Works is Scout, the location manager! You have the ability to drop a pin of the location, add in your notes, and upload an image. Then you can share that pin by sending it to your clients before a session! You can also view what others are sharing publicly, which is great if you have an out of town shoot.

So get out there, build up that arsenal of photo locations, and get out of the funk of using the same place all the time!

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