What is a photoshoot location?

Suzi Davis Monday 26th October 2020

What is a Photo Shoot Location?

Are you curious about what a photo shoot location is? Maybe your boss has asked you to find a variety of photoshoot locations for a particular project or you are researching the topic as part of a school assignment.

In the photographic industry, when a photographer ventures outside to a place of particular interest, it’s referring to location photography. A photo shoot location, on the other hand, is a space available to hire specifically to take a shoot crew, set up your photography and execute your photoshoot.

Photo shoot locations are usually a home or studio space with functional internal space set up explicitly to accommodate a shoot crew and photography equipment. Many also offer additional outside space, together with a variety of unique features throughout.

As there is a charge to hire the location, they are primarily used by brands: large and small who need fabulous visuals for on line content, magazines, press articles or advertising campaigns.

Why hire a photo shoot location?

There are parks, beaches and public properties everywhere, so why not just take your camera kit and crew to a freely available spot?

Public spaces can be tricky when it comes to photography.  For entirely outside areas, there is the unpredictability of the weather that can wreak havoc with your well-designed set.

Public places inside or outside are filled with, as you would expect, the public! There is no guarantee you will have the place to yourself, and you have no rights over anyone else to be there. A number of public spaces also need permission to be used for photography.

Specifically designed photo shoot locations offer privacy and control, and permission is guaranteed. Hiring a space also allows you the freedom to adapt the site to match your brief. Many locations are designed to be incredibly versatile with a variety offering the option to paint and decorate for the ultimate transformation.

What to consider when choosing a photo shoot location?

The key to choosing the right photo shoot location is a clear brief. Having a clear vision will help you to focus your search and narrow your options. Supporting your brief with mood boards and visual references will help bring your vision to life.

Are you looking to use a location agency to take care of your photo shoot? If so, a sharp and focused brief means they can use their in-depth knowledge of every location on their books to find your perfect spot.

In your brief consider:

  • What you are looking for the final shots to look and feel like?
  • The style of property. Do you need modern, classic or quirky?
  • Whether there are any specific features you need. Do you need a rolltop bath, a staircase, an open plan kitchen?
  • The amount of internal space you need. Consider the set you will be putting together, alongside the size of your crew and their needs with transport and parking.
  • Whether you need outside space as part of your shoot.
  • How far are you willing to travel for the perfect location.

What makes a good photo shoot location?

Photo shoot locations are often someone’s home. But they are sometimes an empty studio or a quirky location such as a shepherd hut or summerhouse that offer something a little different. The one key factor they will all have in common is excellent natural lighting as it’s the number one factor all photographers look for and need.

Other qualities that location agencies and clients look for in photo shoot locations include:

  • Versatility. This can mean neutral walls, the ability to paint and decorate or vast spaces that can be used in a multitude of ways. Room sizes need to allow enough space for photographers to pull back.
  • A wealth of features that will enable a property and the photos taken within them to stand out. They can also help to create a specific atmosphere or theme that a stylist is looking for. Think feature walls, floors or ceilings
  • Outside space. Not always a requirement but a stunning external space can add versatility. Parking and access also increase the desirability of a location.
  • The ideal location. Shoot Locations in London and the surrounding areas tend to be the busiest, but there is still a demand for places across the UK. Properties outside of London and the surrounding area often provide locations on a grander scale or a quirky option. Many clients are London based, so there has to be a reason to travel. Extra features such as swimming pools or stunning gardens are always useful features.
  • A safe working environment. With the changes that the 2020 lockdown brought to the photographic industry, guidelines now mean that locations must be clean and ventilated. They should also minimise contact between the location owners and the shoot crew. Properties that offer increased separation between shoot areas or that provide isolation now have an increased appeal.

For more information about what makes a great photo shoot location, download our FREE photo shoot location guide.

For photo shoot location inspiration, browse our range of Light Locations

Do you need something outside and pretty?
Or something different and quirky?
Maybe an outdoor tennis court?
Or a stunning swimming pool?
Or looking to shoot inside for a bedroom set up?
Do you need a roll top bath?
Kitchen/dining area with amazing views and ultra modern interior with lots of glass
Are you looking for something modern?
Or something classic and period?
Suzi Davis

Suzi Davis