In high school, I was never much a fan of doing my homework.
I was able to get by with doing as little as I had do on a daily basis and it was very apparent on my GPA, much to my disappointment. I thought that I could fake my way through it and still turn out some decent work and fool whoever I needed to. I was dead wrong, but luckily that was just high school.
Fast forward to a few years to now, and I’m doing more homework then I ever thought I would in my whole life. The best part is, I love every second of it and it shows in my quality of work. If you don’t do your leg work and put the time in to scouting and finding exactly where and what sort of shot you want, it’s hard to imagine that anyone will be able to achieve just what they want by sheer luck. This is where location scouting comes into play, and how crucial and thankful I did my homework before my first engagement shoot this past weekend.
With any project that comes across our desk, location scouting is key to every aspect of the pre-production phase. It is worlds more difficult to get a visual idea of how you plan to get a shot to look if you don’t have a visual reference to start with. Begin with a general idea of what you want to achieve, whether you want a scene to be urban or romantic or nature themed. Then grab a camera and go explore. Head out during the time of day you would ideally be shooting to get a true barring on the quality and positioning of light there is at the spot of which you find. Draw from shots that you find as inspiration, and look for somewhere that closely resembles it and make it your own.
There is no substitute for doing your homework in preparation for a project. Cameras don’t take pictures, you do. When you take the time to setup the shots you want, you will get the results you envisioned. This is also great practice in exploring what you want and having the confidence that adding people to the shot will enhance in tremendously and be both flattering to them and their surroundings. Here is a sneak peek into my latest engagement shoot with a long time friend Joel and his gorgeous fiancé Jessica.
Stay tuned for a full write up on this fun evening I was fortunate enough to enjoy with them, and a full catalog of their shoot.