I love having unique locations for my photo sessions. There are so many photographers in Southern California, that it’s nice to be set apart and have locations that not everyone is going to. Although, once I find a great location, I use it until I don’t feel inspired by it and then move along! So, what goes into finding a great location? Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.
1. Drive around. This may sound basic, but it’s important to keep your eyes open as you’re driving around the city. Sometimes I’m able to set apart a chunk of time for the sole purpose of location scouting, but other times I find spots as I’m doing my daily routine or maybe on the way to a client’s home.
2. See all the parts and the whole. There are times when I’m looking for a location with a sweeping landscape. I also use spots that are tiny little nooks of gorgeousness. I’ll often have clients tell me, “I never would have SEEN what you saw in this location.” So, determine what you’re needs are (big views or a little areas when you don’t need to move around and are mainly doing close-ups.)
3. Which leads me to my next tip- Ask your clients to trust you. It helps when you have a few years under your belt. But, you want your clients to feel comfortable at the location. So, if you’re leading them to an area they are unsure about and they don’t know you enough to trust your vision, it will come across in their expressions.
4. Go to the location at the time of day you are planning to photograph there. Lighting is key, so you want to make sure you’ll know what to expect. There are certain locations that I know I can only use the morning or afternoon. Some locations will work any time of day.
5. Be prepared for anything. One time I went to a location and they were renovating it (unexpectedly). I had to quickly come up with a plan B because I had back to back clients planning to arrive. I try to have a back-up location and client’s numbers programmed into my phone, so I can think quickly and be ready for changes.
I hope that helps! And if you’re wondering where this fabulous location is…these abandoned railroad tracks run throughout the city of Cerritos, CA. Another one of those times where I was driving around and noticed this out my window.
Orange County Family Photographer // How I Scout for Locations