Location scouting – Pointers and pro tips for an amazing shoot

Preparation is crucial in all kinds of photography to determine the success of your images. Once you have a clear concept, it is time to move on to pre-production. This includes finding a place to shoot, in other words, location scouting.

Why is the Location Important?

Location is crucial in shot preparation since it affects an image’s overall mood and impact in photography.  A location may serve as the main focus of a whole picture project or series, which can assist in creating the image’s narrative and give it significance for viewers.

Some location site settings provide a photographer with a fresh viewpoint or an innovative concept, while others are too challenging or impractical to capture without first considering the logistics.

What is Location Scouting?

Location scouting is the practice that involves a photographer visiting various sites to choose the ideal setting for a shoot. A few things need to be considered during these visits before the photography session to guarantee that all requirements will be completed on the shoot day.

What happens if you do not do location scouting?

If you do not prepare, many things may go wrong on the day of the shoot, and you may lose control. Location scouting enables you to predict all eventualities, including weather, temperature, need for permits, accessibility, and other factors, enabling you to map out the details for the shoot’s success.

6 Things to Consider When Scouting Locations

  • Light: Pay attention to the lighting that is present. Ensure you have the proper lighting equipment because there will never be enough light for inside filming. Ensure you have room and access to power outlets if you use more extensive light kits.

It’s vital to record the hour and the sun’s direction if your scenario is outside. Do you have full sun, medium sun, or full shade where you stand? Knowing this is crucial since intense light may damage people’s skin and cause light-coloured surfaces to be blown out.

Sounds: Listen to how the location sounds during particular times of the day, especially when shooting a scene. Take pictures and record audio so you can review it later. It can save you money and let you secure the best locations.

Space: Visualise the space your entire set-up will take up–a small, quaint corner bookstore may look like the best location for a scene until your 10-person crew and their equipment cramp everyone else in the spot, ruining the shoot and possibly annoying the owner.

Besides imagining how the scene will run on location, imagine how and where equipment and crew will be positioned.

Safety: Knowing how to safeguard your equipment is a benefit of scouting a potential location. Even a tiny amount of moisture can damage a camera’s internal mechanics since camera technology is susceptible, and your DSLR will corrode in salt water.

You may have to shoot in the sun in certain situations, so it’s wise to be sure your equipment can withstand the environment.

Permits: Learn who owns the land and whether they will require a permit to do a location shoot there. Permit applications must be filled up and reviewed if the location is on public property.

Parking: You will need to park several vehicles around the spot to make it easier for your shoots.

There will be numerous alternatives to take into account depending on where you are filming and how many cars you have. You must develop a parking strategy and file the necessary applications depending on the number of tech vehicles and the area’s parking regulations.

Pro Tip: Always have a backup plan

Before arranging scouting trips, try to have at least three reliable possibilities for every scripted site. It can save you time and money.

Not gathering enough possibilities before physically exploring locales is one of the most frequent errors independent film location scouts make. One place could capture your heart at first sight, but it might be impractical in practice.

Perhaps there isn’t enough parking, or the shooting schedule is too limited. A scout day is worthless if you have no backup plans.


Location scouting is not only an art; it is also a science.

These tips, combined with your creativity, will surely make your next scout more efficient than ever before. If you need professional help, do not hesitate to do so. It can make the experience smooth and easy and save you from unnecessary expenses.

About Summit Shoot

Summit Shoot is a fantastic group of film industry professionals who can create practically anything you may need. We use only cutting-edge technology to create advertisements and branded content for all budget ranges and distribution platforms.

With experience in all kinds of productions spanning more than 20 years, Summit Shoot guarantees top-notch on-location production support for every conceivable need to produce a fantastic shoot.

Thorough and careful planning is crucial to every successful film production. We value open, regular contact with all parties involved to understand your objectives better, plan flawlessly, and execute fantastic shoots.