As a professional photographer, you’re probably aware that the location of a photoshoot can make or break the quality of your images. So, how can you pick the perfect spot and ensure your clients receive the service they deserve? If you’re struggling to find suitable photoshoot locations, we’ve put together some handy hints and tips to make your life a little easier.
1. Prioritise locations with flattering lighting
Try to avoid locations with poor lighting options, gloomy rooms are very difficult to work with and often unflattering. One of the easiest ways to get around this is to organize an outdoor photoshoot at a time of day when the light is most flattering. As a general rule, morning or early evening shoots provide the softest and warmest forms of natural lighting.
If you’re planning an indoor shoot, find a location with plenty of space to set up artificial lighting equipment. After all, you may need to complement the sun’s natural rays with carefully angled lighting that highlights your subjects’ best assets. If you’re planning to use a plain backdrop for your photographs, it’s worth hiring a professional studio space with heavy-duty lighting equipment. This will cut down the time spent setting up your lighting and allow you to get on with the task at hand.
2. Choose a location that suits the style and purpose of your project
Before you settle on a location, you must consider what story your photographs will tell. Say, for example, you’re working on a high-concept fashion shoot featuring sharp, tailored suits and luxury velvet dresses. You’ll need to find a location that oozes glitz and glamour, such as a ballroom, a fancy drawing-room, or an art gallery. You may also wish to hire props to add a little artistry to the images, although you should avoid going overboard and making the photographs look too “busy”.
If, on the other hand, your fashion project involves bohemian clothing or summery dresses, you’ll want to find a more remote location brimming with plant life. Why not drive to your local beauty spots to scout out the most eye-catching locations? Photographers willing to thoroughly prepare for their shoots often reap rewards for going the extra mile. You’ll deliver impeccable images and develop a loyal client base in the process!
3. Follow the weather forecast and consider finding backup locations
Try to follow the weather forecast in the days and hours leading up to your shoot. An overcast sky could significantly alter the quality of your lighting, while a downpour could effectively cancel an outdoor shoot (unless you’re going for the drenched look!). Obviously, cancelling a shoot at the last minute could mess with your busy schedule and leave your clients feeling disappointed. As such, it’s a good idea to select a location with a relatively bright, warm, and dry climate and - if you want to be extra safe - find a backup space to use in the event of a storm.
4. Choose a location that can be photographed from a variety of angles
During a photoshoot, you’re going to want to try to capture your subjects against a range of backdrops. As such, it’s a good idea to find a location containing a variety of features, colours, and textures. When scouting out locations, we recommend you find at least five suitable backdrops for every place you visit.
5. Consider the accessibility of your location
Try to find a location that is easy to access and isn’t too far away. As well as inconveniencing your clients, travelling for hours in a car or van will reduce the amount of time available for the shoot itself. It could also leave your models feeling tired and groggy before work even starts when you need them at their best. We recommend selecting a location that models, clients, and members of your team can reach quickly and by a variety of means.
6. Consider whether the colours match the client’s website and/or personal preferences
Don’t underestimate the importance of colour when selecting your location. If you’re shooting a project for a corporate client, for example, you’ll need to produce photos that blend in with their brand's colour palette and will look good on their website and marketing touchpoints. Creating images that clash with these colours could render your work unusable and leave your clients feeling disappointed. Similarly, you should consult your non-corporate clients about their preferred colour scheme before settling on a location, as they’re likely to have a few opinions on the topic!
7. Find a location free from noise and distractions
Conducting a shoot in a loud and busy area could disrupt your shoot and leave your models feeling uncomfortable. As such, it’s advisable to find a relatively quiet location where you can focus on the task at hand.
Did you know? On Tutti, you can search places by noise pollution levels. In search, click "Filter", and scroll down to "Location External Noise"
8. Work with your clients to find the perfect spot
Your client should have the final say on your shoot location. To save time and effort, therefore, it’s important to define all their needs and requirements beforehand. During the initial consultation, ask questions such as:
- Are there are any types of locations I should avoid?
- Are there any particular themes you would like to embrace?
- Do you have any examples of images you’ve seen and would like to emulate?
- Are there any specific materials you think are important to include in the background?
- Are there any accessibility issues you would like to raise?
The bottom line: Treat your location and client with the care and attention they deserve!
Choosing a great location represents one of the most important aspects of a photography project. Whether you’re photographing a couple of loved-up newlyweds or taking part in a cutting-edge fashion shoot, you’ll need to find a location that tells a story and shows your subjects in their best light.
If you’re struggling to hire suitable spaces for your photography project, we at Tutti are here to help. We’re a marketplace that connects creators with stunning spaces in which to conduct their work. Browse Tutti today, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!