Shooting on location takes a lot of effort and hard work. You need to look for the perfect setting and the right view that would fit within the camera and speak for itself. Although there is a lot of effort that goes into finding a good location for the shoot, it is really worth it.
The secret to shooting a location includes certain things that you should keep in mind throughout your shoot. Here is a guide on how you could go for shooting a location and capturing the essence of the place perfectly.
Camera setting and adjustments
Which camera setting you use is often neglected by many amateur photographers since we consider it a feature reserved for professionals only. The truth is that even if you are not a professional photographer, camera settings need to be adjusted according to the location you are working in. This can vary from place to place since you can not keep the same camera setting for every location — especially when you have bright sun over your head in one spot and another has cloudy, and dark weather. You can easily find the basics for camera settings on websites like PetaPixel. Try to use a camera from brands like Sony, Canon, or Nikon that have basic functions that are easy to control and settings that are easy to interpret.
Know your location
Your location is the core of the entire shooting process, so making yourself familiar with your surroundings is important to get the right shot. You are the manager of the location shoot, which means you are in charge of what you see in the final results. Go to the location prior to the shoot to familiarize yourself with the spot so you know which spots are suitable for shooting for different scenarios. Looking over the location beforehand will give you insight into the personality of the site and give you the opportunity to create magic with your shoots. Most likely, you’ll want to choose a subject where a few people like to visit. Determining where you should take your pictures can be much easier if your location has other photographers that can guide you through the place.
Be prepared for any circumstance
‘What if?’ is an important question we need to constantly ask ourselves in order to be mentally prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. This is true when it comes to shooting a location — especially if your location for the shoot is somewhere you have never been to before. Knowing that things can go wrong is essential if you want to ensure a comfortable environment for your crew, other photographers, and any other tourists about. You might want to make a list that you carry around with your gear, keeping in mind the needs of your location. For instance, if your location involves a rugged landscape, then there is a chance of you getting an injury so for that you should a medical kit for back up.
Reach the location earlier
Since you do not own your location, you can not predict any unforeseen events. No one wants to carry a whole load of camera gear or travel halfway across the world only to find out that their location has been closed or restricted from shooting. For example, you might choose Times Square for your location shoot, and find the area can be severely crowded. In order to get the perfect shot, you might have to arrive earlier or find a new location altogether. If you choose a government-owned location for shooting, you will need to check whether it is allowed to film or bring cameras into the site.
If you are paying for the location you chose for shooting, then time management can be essential. If you can, wrap up your shooting as soon as possible instead of spending hours on the place for no reason. This is why it can be important to plan out your entire shoot and divide your time accordingly. Set aside time for setting up props, adjusting the camera. Shoot all the best places in the location within the time period allowed so you would need to go there again.
Shooting a specific location isn’t easy, but with some preparation, you can find a way to capture just the right picture. Who knows? You might even find a way to make a living from it.
Do you have any photography tips that help you when shooting a crowded location?
Header image by Mohamed Almari.