Today I went location scouting for an upcoming shoot I have yet to schedule and it really got me thinking: What do I look for in a location?
No matter the genre, I think that location is one of the main components of any shoot and I’m really trying to experiment more with shooting outside, particularly in my fashion work. I love using the studio, and have a few shoot ideas planned, but right now, I prefer the interactivity outside locations provide.
Most of the locations I shot are either of wide expansive spaces or of geometric, colourful buildings. I’ve realised that I love to shoot in places that have a lot of character. Here are a list of things that I look for in a location:
Because it’s cool and great to experiment with!
Width and depth for both portrait and landscape shots. Or establishing shots and mid shots, as directors would refer to them as!
The space is very important as if you are shooting an editorial, you have to consider where the text is going to be, so you’ll need to make space for that. Also, you have to consider how far the model is going to be from the camera and, ultimately, how much detail of the clothes you’ll be able to see.
The shapes that the building/locations make and how I can contrast that with shapes the model/clothes make.
Which is an integral part of my work as I most often think about what the post processing is going to be like when I visit the location. I try and finding buildings that are either vibrant and will look amazing with a model wearing neutral clothes or building that are neutral that will look cool with models who are wearing vibrant clothes. I most likely will have a certain colour in mind for my shoots that will be the ‘main’ colour upon which I shall base the colour scheme around.
As you can tell, I take colour very seriously! 🙂
Which is probably an obvious thing to think about but it is something I constantly aware of. When I’m at a location I ask myself:
How much natural light will this location give an image I shoot here?
Will this mean i’ll need to bring external lighting?
How can I bounce/diffuse/change the light to create a variety of images in the same spot?
I would totally suggest for everyone to go and shoot in the sun. I used to be afraid of doing that and I would wait for days when it was overcast (quite often here in Great Britain!) but i’ve realised that as a photographer, you able to control the light through your camera settings.
It’s such an obvious thing to say but how many times have you shot an overexposed image (in raw) when it was sunny and thought that you’ll fix it later in post production only to find that the overexposed areas go a weird dark beige colour….
Anyway, that’s enough about me, tell me, what do YOU look for in a location and how important do you think that it is to an image?