Let's Go Scouting!

When I first started photography a majority of my down time was spent scouting. I was so new to this that I didn’t know how to find the perfect locations. I use to drive up and down the roads taking pictures of fields, empty lots, buildings and places that the lighting was so pretty! Well turned out more than half the areas I saved I could not use - they were privately owned properties. Required fees, unsafe for kids to be and the list went on. 

It wasn't until I joined local Facebook groups that I started to find accessible locations! The photography community helped me find some of my best spots. It's true, community over competition. Yes, you will get a few photographers who won’t share their locations - but that's OKAY! It doesn’t hurt to ask, and it doesn’t hurt to not get a response. 

Tools I used

I also used google maps to view the terrains and find trails. Using this tool helped me see where I could possibly place my clients and if there was any indications for open shade. I never want to take clients to a location where the sun is going to give off harsh lighting, unpleasant shadows or if they have small children- putting them at risk for injury. 

Once I found locations I loved, I made a location guide to send out to my clients! This helps them view the locations, sessions I’ve previously done there, and how accessible it is. I include any fees for entrance and parking. This tool made my down time so much easier. I wasn’t having to go scout (unless I wanted a new location) But I had enough locations spread out across the Valley that catered towards any client.  

To add, I always ask my clients if they already have their outfits when we are selecting a location. This is a huge factor! Locations can make or break the outfits, and vice versa. You don’t want your clients to wear something that could potentially put them at risk of injury. When clients already have their outfits or color scheme the location needs to match and make them pop.