What Makes a Great Photo Shoot Location?

We have all been there starting out in the industry, you were so excited when your first brief came in you rushed out to find a location and then …. it all went horribly wrong.

Over time you learn about the different requirements that go into choosing the right shoot location, and not all are about photography.

Great Shoot Locations Have:

1. Lighting

The first thing that you should think about isn’t what you’re photographing, but the light. The type of lighting available to you will affect your photoshoot, do you need to bring additional lighting.

If you are shooting indoors, is there natural light and what time of the day is best at the given location, does this restrict the shooting time at that location.

2. Colour

The colour of the room that you are shooting in can have a big effect on your photos. Not only do different colours affect the mood of your photos, but they also affect how the camera captures them.

Dark walls with lots of colourful things tend to cast extra shadows on faces, making for an interesting backdrop if you are using studio lighting to take your photos.

If you are set on that location, take additional lighting to balance your shadows.

3. Subjects

Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, props may be a good thing or a negative in the location.

The “perfect location” may prove to be more trouble than its worth trying to remove room clutter before you can even start. On the other hand you might be trying to shoot a lifestyle piece in a minimalist location and would give up your shutter finger for a pot plant or piece of art by the end of the day.

4. Space

If you are planning a big photoshoot with many people, you need to make sure there is plenty of room for them all to stand comfortably. Trying to get five people into a small bathroom because it has the perfect roll top bath can become a grind by the end of the day.

Make sure that everyone is comfortable and move them accordingly to get the best photo!

5. The Environment

Even if you have a great location, the environment can still affect how your photos turn out. You need to make sure that there aren’t any distractions in the room and that includes how sound works in a room, especially if crew are walking around. Your subjects need to be focused on the photoshoot and not anything else!

6. Adaptability

The ability to adapt is an important part of picking a location. If you’re planning on photographing future features, having a room that can be adapted for different types of photos will help you.

Locations that allow painting & decorating could be a great option for feature adaptability.

7. Accessibility

If you cant get the crew into a room, or even park near the location, you are going to have a tough day ahead of you.

Picking a location that is easily accessible for everyone involved will make things go much more smoothly!

8. Private or Public Place

This is entirely brief dependant, street scene etc, and you have to run with it. But if there is a choice, hands down, private is always the better option.

If you do have to shoot in public make sure you do your due diligence with councils, any permits and insurance.

9. Safety

Health and safety is a legal requirement in any workplace and this includes a shoot location.

Little tip we picked up on years ago when shooting a corporate brief, get their health and safety officer on board in the beginning for a smooth days shooting.

10. Overhead Cover

Shooting outside, don’t forget overhead cover from our lovely British weather.

While it might be difficult to find a location that fits all of your requirements, you need to find a location that meets as many of those as possible. If you take your time and think this through properly, finding a suitable location shouldn’t be too difficult!


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