3 Photographers Share Tips on Shooting on Location


Shooting on location is a common occurrence in the photography world. Whether you're shooting at a restaurant, park, field, or another venue- often you’ll find yourself carting around photography equipment and arranging multiple logistics. On Shutterstock Custom assignments, a lot of our projects require contributors to travel to clients business location to shoot an assignment on location. We asked some of the contributors on our network for their tips on how they manage on-location shoots. Here are their suggestions for managing on location photography shoots.


Scouting a location

Photographer Joshua Resnick:

“Scouting out your location beforehand will save you lots of potential problems down the road. This can be done with research online, as well as actually going there. Before I take the time to physically scout a location, I make sure to look at it on Google Earth first. Whenever I scout, I take note of which direction the sun is coming in relation to what is around the location,  this will allow me to take the guesswork out of the lighting and plan what time of day is best for what I have envisioned for the photoshoot. In some places, this window can be very narrow, so timing is key.”

Photographer Kailee Mandel:

“Visit the location before your shoot and get to know the lighting situation. Be prepared to bring the necessary equipment to work with, this could be reflectors, flashes and or strobes. You don't want to show up to a location that you were under the impression would have lots of natural light and it is one tiny window in the corner of the room!”


Be mindful of copyright

Photographer Joshua Resnick:

“You should always be on the lookout for potential copyright landmines in your location. You may say "I'll just fix it in the post" but I want you to imagine this scenario. You had an awesome photoshoot, these are some of your best photos yet. you carefully edit the images and remove all logos only to later find out the chairs and furniture your models were posing on are actually copyrighted and impossible to edit out now.”


Follow the client brief

Filmmaker Carl Earl-Ocran

“The key is the brief; creating what has been requested by the client. If the brief asks for naturally lit scene as well, I would look for a location with a lot of natural light. I think of what the models/actors would naturally be doing if there wasn't a camera there, and I use the surroundings to my advantage, directing them to use the resources we have to tell the story the client wants in the film. “


We hope these tips help you on your next on-location photo shoot. For more tips on shooting on location, check out this blog post. We can’t wait to see what you create next.

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