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3 Location Scouting Tips For Portrait & Video Shoots

There’s more to location scouting for a portrait or video shoot than just choosing a spot that looks cool. In this video, portrait pro and YouTuber Miguel Quiles takes you with him on a location scouting mission with his Sony Xperia 1 IV while sharing his top three tips. “The next time that you go out and your location scouting and trying to figure out where it is that you want to set up your next shoot, use these three tips and I promise you that you won’t be wasting as much of your time. You’ll find better locations. You’ll choose those locations at the right time of day and everyone around you, working with you will have a better idea of what to expect ahead of time.” Keep watching as the Sony Artisan shares his tips and see more videos like this one on the Sony Alpha Universe YouTube Channel.

Portrait pro and YouTuber Miguel Quiles shares his top three tips for location scouting and explains how he uses his Sony Xperia IV in the scouting process.

Tip #1 – Investigate The Light

Quiles says that photographers will often only focus on finding a really cool location with maybe interesting architecture or symmetry when they’re location scouting. But what photographers don’t often do, and it could wreck their photo shoot, is to take a look and just do some investigating into what the light is going to look like based on the time you plan on shooting. 

“Now how I do this is, I actually have my Xperia 1 IV,” explains Quiles. “I’m going to be using this quite a bit for my location scouting adventures, but what I do is, I go into the app store and I’m looking for an app that is a sun-seeker style of app.” 

He continues, “What I like to do if I find a really cool location like I just found right now, I’m going to open up this app and I’m going to see at different times of the day where the sun is going to be. Let’s say I’m doing a golden hour shoot – is the sun going to be really low on the horizon where I’m going to be completely in shade? That’s going to be a problem, especially if my client or the person I’m photographing wants to shoot in this specific spot. I need to be aware of that. It could be that maybe earlier in the day the sun is going to be in a different position and it’s going to light the spot that they want to shoot in. So you want to make sure that you investigate the light. The easiest way to do that is to download an app like this check and see where the sun is going to be so you’re getting the best light possible.”

Tip #2 – Create A Mood Board

For his next tip Quiles explains that you should try to create a mood board, which is just a series of images that give yourself and anyone you’re working with an idea of the location, colors and style that you plan on shooting so everyone can be on the same page. 

“It’s something that is super important,” he says. “I typically do it using Pinterest. I take a bunch of photos, for example, with my Xperia 1 IV. I can shoot images wide at 16mm, I can shoot some at 24mm and then I have that 85-125mm lens so I can actually take images of different things that are in the area just to give people an idea of what they can expect when they go to shoot at that location. So it’s super important when you’re location scouting. Take photos. Create that mood board. Because no one is going to be able to experience that location without being there, but the next closest thing to that is taking really good images so that they get an idea of what to expect.”

Not only photos, you can use your Xperia 1 IV to take great videos of the location that will also help everyone prepare for the shoot.

Tip #3 – Check Permissions

The final tip Quiles gives is to always check for proper permissions for the location where you want to shoot. It’s definitely not a good look to show up at a site with an entire crew and have the shoot shut down because you didn’t get the right permits. “Wherever it is that you choose to shoot,” he explains, “you want to make sure that you’re respectful, that you’re courteous of the location. So make sure you have permission to shoot wherever it is that you find and wherever it is that you plan on shooting. Double-check to make sure that you don’t need any kind of permits. 

He continues, “There are some places that require permits under very specific circumstances and it could be that maybe if you just go to shoot there with just yourself and your client, or yourself and your friend or whoever you plan on shooting, you might not need to get a permit. You might just be able to go there, do your photo shoot, make sure you leave everything clean, take off and there’s no problem. But there are some spots where you have to get a permit, especially if you plan on bringing an entire crew with you.”

See more videos like this one on the Sony Alpha Universe YouTube Channel.

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