Importance of Location Scouting

If you're a photographer like me, you've probably wondered where other photographers have taken their photos.   The best way to do this is just start being a tourist in your own backyard and sometimes you'd be surprised at what you'd find right under your nose.

For this shoot with the talented and wonderful model Angela, I was looking for a natural setting.

 Model, Sytlist, MUAH: Angela L.

Model, Sytlist, MUAH: Angela L.

Scouting ahead of time not only ensures that you're going to achieve what you had in mind but also keeps the flow of the shoot going.  Once everyone gets into the groove of a shoot, it's less jarring to spend time to hunt for locations if you know at least where and when you'd be transitioning.  I find that this is a better way to get better photographs. 

I generally look for a few things when location scouting:

  • Close to a parking area - everyone has gear, clothing, accessories and other things to haul.  It just makes it easier
  • Slightly off the beaten path - it's great summer weather, who wants to be stuck inside? Fighting for a spot to get a good shot tends to break the flow of the shoot
  • Nearby changing area - It's always handy to have facilities nearby for changing and for you know, just normal human needs...

With that, I was surprised to find Warner Loat park right in the heart of the Lower Mainland.

Warner Loat Park

Located centrally, this park had parking that was just steps away from the shooting area.  Plus it also had an off leash area for dogs.  So I would definitely come back if there was a theme or with pets.  The photos below were taken within just steps of the parking area:

Then we walked over to another area nearby and there was a small creek and I asked Angela to climb down to a log across the creek.  I placed my lightstand with a single strobe and an Octabox into the water.  (This is where velcro straps come in handy to keep the electrical stuff out of the water.)

Remember those changing facilities? Well they came in handy.  Angela switched out her outfit and we walked back towards the entrance of the parking lot for these next shots.

Burnaby Lake Park

Down the street within walking distance is one of very many entrances to Burnaby Lake park.  Here there is a small area with a garden before the entrance of the park.  Another outfit change and we got these shots:

Walking down towards the path, I knew there was a 2 story deck and platform which overlooks the entire lake.  Outfit #4 and we ended off with these shots:

All of these shots happened in just under 2 hours.  Kudos to Angela for being very prepared as well and starting on time!

In fact, I almost ruined our surprised baby shower that my sister in law threw for my wife and I by finishing up early :) But that's a story for another day.