A professional product photographer will spend a lot of their time out in the world, discovering new locations or managing outdoor photoshoots. This is perhaps most common when working with fashion photography and there are some great tips for how to scout locations and find the right spot to tell your story.
Check the lighting
We end up talking about lighting in almost every blog post we do and with scouting locations, it is no different. One of the first things to consider is what is the light like at the location in question. For example, in fashion photography, you may want to shoot bigger shots in the morning when the light is better and easier to work with and then in the middle of the day, do close up or more controlled shots when the light is more challenging.
You also want to think about how the light interacts with the scenery and how this changes during the day. It may be that the sun coming through the trees in the morning offers the wrong kind of lighting for your products, but the afternoon is perfect. As a product photographer, this is vital to ensure you get the best quality shots.
Check your equipment
Choosing to hold a photoshoot on-location means leaving the safety of your studio and the safety net of knowing you have everything you need there. As a result, planning and checking your equipment before heading out into the field is very important and shouldn’t be rushed.
Have you thought about whether there is electricity on-location? How will the elements affect your equipment and models? Will natural lighting require reflectors due to tall buildings and trees? So many questions to think of that it can sometimes be overwhelming, but for any product photographer, the advice is simple.
Take your time to plan, make lists and design your shoot. Think about what is needed for each image and methodically run through everything. Spending time on this is so valuable and will reduce the chances of anything being forgotten on the day.
Check your notes
When planning a fashion photography shoot, or any other type for that matter, you will likely take some shots of the location for your records and to aid in the planning. What is just as important, is to ensure to add notes to those images to help you plan and structure your photoshoot.
You should be thinking about the logistical requirements such as what you can carry to the location, is it accessible by car and whether there are any obstacles that cannot be moved, such as signs. It is also important to remember it is not just you that will likely be venturing to that location and what might be easy for you, won’t be for a team of people or models if you’re using them.
Make as many notes as possible and record thoughts, ideas and concerns and work your way through them. Planning helps make life so much easier and as a product photographer, will help you deliver exceptional photos in an efficient and effective way.