Scouting Location Tips

Gatekeeper. If you're a photographer, you've heard this term used before. Gatekeeping is kind of a nasty word in many forms, but in the world of photography. It's a word we like to use to describe colleagues in the industry who don't share their locations. Let's look at both sides of the coin here. Photography is a saturated industry. I don't find it necessarily to be a negative thing, but I do think photography is an art form anyone can pick up, and there could be amateurs price gauging to get bookings, and in a small town that can be difficult for business owners who want to grow and be paid and appreciated for their hard work, knowledge, and creativity. Why share the hours of scouting locations you've done with someone who sent you a DM and didn't have to do the leg work? I totally get it and usually we can weed those ones out. BUT...

In the year of creating my business. I've also learned that sharing information doesn't mean you lose out on something. Instead, you gain trust with fellow photographers in your community, you cultivate relationships with those photographers who also share their locations with you, and you end up being able to collaborate to create something bigger than you expected. For me, it's less about intimidation and more about what information do you have for me that I can learn from. I like to think about it as a friendly trade off. I promise the perks end up being bigger than someone using "your" location.

With that being said, here's some tips on how I scout for new locations.

  • Dedicate a day and time to ONLY SCOUTING
  • (For me, I still have a 9-5 job, so I usually carve out Friday's for about 2 sometimes 3 hrs to drive around and hunt)
  • Write down locations you see when you are out about with your friends to check out later on
  • (while I was on my way to visit my husband on his lunch, I saw a pretty field and wrote down the mile marker so I wouldn't forget to check it out on my scouting day)
  • Ask friends and family if they know of any (insert desired scenery description)
  • ( I live in KY where the beauty is never ending, and there's bound to be locations I haven' been that are picture worthy)
  • Pay attention to where friends post pictures on Social Media (FB, IG)
  • (I can't tell you how many times I've checked out locations that I saw a friend go to and it ends up being picture worthy)
  • DOWNLOAD all trails app
  • (if you enjoy a good hike, or walk in the park, this app is for you! It not only gives you the directions of locations, but usually each listing has pictures, reviews for each, and the difficulty level)
  • DOWNLOAD Unscripted app
  • (there's a paid version of this app, but it's free to view the posing portion of the app, and they've just added a feature that let's you browse and search locations that other photographers have shared)

Happy Scouting Location Day!!!