Advertising photography: How to find the perfect spot for your ad

Location apps that help you find the perfect place

Click on the video, to get a glimpse of what a scout looks like. The apps I mention are Sunseeker and Cadrage. They help me get the sun position and times as well as an idea for the lens I need to use. The panorama on top is photographed with the panorama setting in the iPhone’s camera. The client will get these photos in my production book, along with contact info, permits, insurance certificates, directions, shot lists – the whole enchilada.
The more you plan before the shoot, the smother the production will go. Build a production book – that way everything is in one place. I have this on the outside pocket of my camera bag when I shoot.

Getting nitty gritty now, makes the photo production go smooth (if not perfect) later

Once you’ve found your perfect location, now it’s time to figure out who you need to get permission from to photograph your advertising production on this location. Sometimes it’s a city or county, the state or the national park service. It could a private owner or a combination of these. In this case it’s the city and a private trust, that runs the beach. They require an application including a description of what I’ll be photographing, before they allow me to shoot here. Your local film office can be of great help here. Make sure you also find out if there any requirements in addition to insurance? When do they open? How much more does it cost to open the location before sunrise? Is there another entity for the location, that needs to sign off on your proposed concepts?

Production book that makes your shoot run smooth, if not perfect!

Here’s the section of my production book that applies to this location.



Once the locations are picked, permits need to be pulled, insurance certificates secured, deposits paid and models, crew and equipment scheduled and weather starts getting watched. Read more about how this shoot got estimates on last weeks post: “How to estimate an advertising photo shoot” and click on the subscribe button on the top of this page to follow this blog, so you don’t miss how to scout the perfect location for an advertising photo shoot in next weeks post.

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