Location shooting can bring a whole new level of context and narrative to your photography, as well as breaking up the monotony of studio work.
For when you’re next thinking of putting together a location shoot, here’s a list of helpful tips from fashion photographer Tigz Rice to help you plan effectively and make sure your shoot runs smoothly.
Tigz is one of the UK's leading burlesque, boudoir and lingerie photographers – as well as being a retoucher and educator. She has worked in some the most incredible – and most challenging – locations around the country. This shot of model Sam Elson was shot at Fontaine’s Bar in London
So read on to learn 10 must-know tips for perfect location shoots.
Read also: check out Tigz’ tips on how to take beautiful photos in the golden hour.
Create a mood board
Before you do anything else, it's always a good idea to sit down and create a mood board for your shoot. Pinterest is great for this, giving you time to focus on idea, styling, colour schemes and narrative. You can even invite others to collaborate on your board and make it a joint effort.
Before you settle on a location, don’t forget to check whether you need permission or a license to shoot there. Whilst it might be tempting to 'shoot now and ask for forgiveness later’, the last thing you need is the police turning up and disrupting your shoot. Here’s a really handy guide from Film London with lots of information.
Head out for some location scouting
If you’re shooting on location, its always worth trying to get there a few days before and have a wander around, making a note of all the best viewpoints so you don’t miss anything on shoot day. It;s also worth making sure you have a back up plan on location, just in case of inclement weather.
Factor in spectators
If you’re going to be shooting in a public space, you’re likely to get spectators, so factor this into your shoot plan. If you think the extra attention may be disruptive to your shoot, think about bringing an assistant with you who can take control of this.
Check travel and parking
If you can’t make it to the location for scouting, at least make sure you’ve looked up all the necessary travel information, including rail replacement, closed roads and available parking. Depending on the location, you may also be able to use Google Maps to take a look around in the local area.
Bringing a creative team with you? The best way to make sure everyone is exactly where they need to be at the right time is to create a call sheet. Include information such as contact details, location address (plus map if your location is hard to find) and key timeframe for the day.
Pack the day before
If possible, pack your photography gear the day before. This will leave you plenty of time to remember anything you may have forgotten to put in your bag. If you’re shooting outdoors, make sure you bring extra batteries with you, as cold weather can affect battery life.
Check the weather forecast
The weather can be unpredictable, but a quick look at the forecast should give you an idea of what to expect if applicable to your shoot. Always pack a waterproof jacket just in case, as well as an extra layer for when the temperature drops later in the day.
There’s nothing worse than getting being late to an important shoot, so plan to leave early, factoring in extra time for unexpected delays. If you’re early, you could always treat yourself to a coffee.
Shoot days can be long, so bring some location friendly snacks to keep you sustained throughout the day. Nuts and dried fruit are great for keeping in your camera bag and can be picked at throughout the day.