How To Choose The Best Location For Your Photo Session

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How To Choose The Best Location For Your Photo Session

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Oh, locations. As photographers, we either love finding them, or dread it; it depends on the day right? I hear from other photographers all the time how much they dread finding locations, (or they just don’t even know where to start with scouting a location that would actually work for a session.)

So, without further ado, I’m going to give you my best tips on how to choose the best location for your photo session.





1. Pick one that stands out.

It sounds so simple, but if you want your images to stand out, (like we all do,) then please make sure you’re not just swiping locations from other photographers around you. To be honest, people copy my locations ALL the time, and that causes me to need to find new ones on the regular. But the deeper issue is that it starts to make all the work look the same in your area. Therefore, it’s super important you’re always scouting new locations to take your clients to. Make it a priority. I PROMISE your clients will notice and will so deeply appreciate your effort!

Pro tip: Go for a drive and use Google Maps to create a list of potential photoshoot locations, then drop pins every time you come across a spot that you love. This way, you’ll always have a running list of spots to choose from!

Simply put, stay original to stay ahead of the curve.


2. Listen to your client first.

I know we all want to create work that just screams “I’m totally an insta worthy shot.” But, it’s important that we’re not projecting our wants and needs to further the agenda of our photography businesses’ growth onto our clients; because this is about THEM – not us. 

Sometimes a location may be super sentimental for my clients, (when in my head I’m like… uhm… but why?) But honestly, sometimes it simply doesn’t matter what I think. The client’s needs and wants is what’s most important, and at the end of the day, I want them to see the heart of their images over the “goals-ness” of a spot. Ya feel?


3. Prioritize the light.

Light is the most important factor when searching for a location. The light determines everything, and it should be treated as your number one priority – always. 

I use an app called Sun Seeker to determine whether a spot will be good for a session or not, and I always scout out the location beforehand to see it in real-time, at exactly the time I plan to shoot there. Sun Seeker allows you to see exactly where the sun will be at any given spot, on any day, at any point in time. It also shows you when the sun rises and sets there – so there’s nothing left to surprise you when arrive. It’s SO helpful, and I seriously don’t plan a session out without it!

Keep in mind that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so be sure to factor that in when deciding what location to choose, (especially if you’re always back-lighting your clients like I am!)


4. Look for variety.

When you’re scouting for a location, be sure to look for other spots that are super close in proximity. That way, you can maximize your location and make it seem as if you guys went to multiple locations – though you only went to one! 

For example, all of these spots were within 30 yards or so of each other, but it looks as if we went to multiple locations!


How To Choose The Best Location For Your Photo Session

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Photo Session

How To Choose The Best Location For Your Photo Session



Choosing locations for your sessions can be a really, really fun thing! Like I said, I always recommend scheduling a day to take a drive just to scout, and dropping pins in google maps when you drive by places you think could be a neat potential photoshoot spot. I keep running lists in all the towns I shoot in! (Which yes – means I have lists all over the world.) ?

Besides, it’s a good excuse to take a day out of the office, yet still be productive! 😉



Struggling with feeling confident while running your photography business? Download my free guide “TPP Roadmap” right here! (It’s gold friends!)



Looking for more helpful photography tips? Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! ??

If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.

Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? ??

Read the Comments +

  1. Taryn Evans

    September 18th, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Hey Jessica Boo!
    What do you do when you have a shoot planned and the weather surprises you with, for instance, rain? I’m trying to start brainstorming how to have beautiful shoots knowing I live in the rainy city that is Seattle!

  2. Jessica Vickers

    September 23rd, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Hey girl!! It totally depends on the client! If it’s an adventurous couples shoot, then it makes sense for us to embrace whatever happens (as long as the weather isn’t super severe!) If it’s severe and poses a threat to them, me, or my equipment – then I just reschedule! I’m always mindful about not overbooking myself to the point that I can’t re-arrange sessions if need be! I hope that helps!! 🙂

    However, you can always discuss alternate locations with your clients, to use as backups! I do that during typhoon season in Okinawa! 🙂

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