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What Is Location Scouting, and Why Is It Important in Photography?

Photographer Viridiana enlists the main aspects of this pre-production stage

Preparation is crucial in all kinds of photography to determine the success of your images. Once you have a concept clear in your mind, it is time to move on to pre-production. This includes finding a place to shoot, in other words, location scouting.

Photographer Viridiana (@holaviridiana) specializes in editorial fashion photography, and her work has appeared in magazines such as Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. Read on as she explains why scouting a location is essential.

What Is Location Scouting, and Why Is It Important in Photography? 1
Viridiana

What is location scouting in photography?

It’s the process in which a photographer visits different locations to find the best place to set his photoshoot. During these visits, before the shoot, there are a few aspects to consider to ensure all conditions are met on the day of the shoot.

Although location scouting is essential for photographers who do not shoot in a studio, this does not necessarily mean taking photos outdoors.

Remember that the choice of location will determine your images’ final look and will create the general atmosphere of your editorial, photo essay, or other projects you will want to develop.

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Viridiana

Practical tips for finding the best location

Viridiana gives us a set of tips to improve our location scouting experience and find the perfect place for every photograph.

Be on the lookout

Keep your eyes open all the time. Don’t limit your search for beautiful places to just when you are planning a photo. Get used to observing at all times. You can create a stock of places that you can use in the future!

Keep an open mind

The location in which you’ll take your photos does not have to be an outdoor space. Move away from your comfort zone and look for exciting possibilities. For instance, Viridiana tells us that she once completed a photoshoot in a sculptor's workshop, which turned out to be a very original experience.

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Enquire

If, by any chance, you cannot go to the location, get all the relevant details about a place online. It will be useful if the shoot is in a city or country where you are not living.

Know about regulations

Before you prepare your shoot, check if any permits are required to access your chosen location and that taking pictures of the spaces is allowed. Only then can you be sure that your photoshoot will be a success and that there will not be problems before or after.

Be prepared

Be sure to measure the light and calculate how it will be during the session. Make a note of the elements included in the space, such as architectural features, and decide whether you’ll have them in the photos.

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Viridiana

What if you do not opt for location scouting?

If you do not prepare, many things may go wrong on the day of the shoot, and you may lose control. Location scouting enables you to predict all eventualities, including weather, temperature, need for permits, accessibility, etc. Everyone in your team will trust your professionalism.

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Viridiana

If you want to know more about Viridiana’s work, sign up to her course Editorial Photography Step-by-Step, and create a fashion editorial, from mood board to photo editing, by way of a professional shoot.

English version by @acesarato

You may be interested in:

- Conceptualization of a Fashion Photoshoot
- A Brief History of Fashion Photography
- 5 Essential Photo Retouching Courses for Perfectionists

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