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Finding a location for your next photoshoot

Recently I have been seeing a lot of posts regarding locations on various online groups. Moreover, I struggled myself to find a place to do one of my recent photoshoot.

For that reason, I’ve been thinking about writing this article in order to share few of my tips to secure a nice location.

Walking around

    Usually, when I am not doing a session, I enjoy walking around and taking pictures with my phone (to get the gps location) to discover places. I have an album on my phone with all the areas I find inspiring.

    It can be a wall, a garden, a café, anything that would work.

    Using Google maps or Instagram location

      You can’t always get to a spot in advance to see if it would work, sometimes you don’t have that luxury. To avoid stress, if the photoshoot is outdoor, you can use Google maps and the street view, or even the location filter on Instagram. It’s not perfect, but it can help, especially since you can rely on other users shared photos. Pretty handy!

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      Renting a place

        Nowadays it’s fairly common and easy to simply rent a place, through Airbnb or other and more specialised websites.

        One of them is named Skoutli, although limited to Australia at the moment, it allows individuals to rent their place for a shoot, pro or not. 

        https://www.skoutli.com

        If you can’t afford this, you can ask if one of your friend has a nice house to borrow, but it might not be as professional looking.

        Asking cafés or restaurants

          Ok for that one, keep in mind you may have to pay a fee but also (and this is important) you will need to be respectful and aware of the nature of the location.

          You can’t shoot and disturb other clients, you won’t have the priority unless you find a deal with the owner.

          For one of my recent photoshoots, I went to the Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney. To be honest I wasn’t 100% sure about being able to shoot there, I went only once before and it was during nightime.
          I got totally stunned by this place! It was massive, beautiful and totally keen for me to shoot there!

          Make sure to call them before going, just to be sure and to be polite, but you won’t regret.

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          Improvisation

            Sometimes you can’t predict where you will shoot, so simply go with the flow. Look up for the shades, the interesting lights, the contrasted colours, anything that could work and try!

            Always remember that your subject needs to be highlighted, put it in front of a darker background if necessary, use a big aperture to blur whatever is behind, be creative!

            It’s also often a good trick to use foreground objects to create perspective, or to vary your angles, it’s up to you but there is plenty to do.

            Some useful links related to this topic

            https://youtu.be/KuSfREsttBM (Julia Trotti’s video about how to find a location)

            https://www.shothotspot.com/hotspots/ and https://pixeoapp.com are photography hotspot finders

            https://www.harpersbazaar.com.au/culture/most-instagrammable-cafes-in-sydney-8430 this has been very inspiring too

            Have fun and enjoy!