When you're a fashion blogger, finding unique photo locations that make your outfits pop is a must. Fashion bloggers aren't the only ones that need a great backdrop however. These tips will come in handy even if you're just getting family photos taken or if you're new to photography. Keep reading to learn all of the ways I find photo locations for my blog photos!
1. DRIVING OR WALKING AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
This might be the most obvious tip to finding photo locations, but it really is one of the best ways! When we moved to Seattle, I no longer had a car so walking around our neighborhood was key to finding new locations to use. You can also kill two birds with one stone and use your long walks as a workout!
The great thing about scouting locations is that you can do it at anytime. Say you're on the way home from work, just go a completely different way that you are used to and you might find something beautiful. Getting lost is actually one of my favorite things and often I purposely go the wrong direction because I have found so many unique photo locations this way.
The last thing I do when driving is driving around neighborhoods I'm unfamiliar with. This is a really great tip if you live in a larger city like Mr. Jones and I! I always try to find at least 3 locations in new neighborhoods to make my trip worthwhile.
2. TAKE PHOTOS OF LOCATIONS & RECORD THE ADDRESS
Anytime I have the luxury of driving our car to scout locations, I keep my phone handy to take photos of locations I find. After snapping a picture, I will either put the cross streets in my notes under the image or even drop a pin and send the location to myself. If I drop a pin, I will copy/paste the address into my notes under the photo of that location. Dropping a pin is the best way to get back to a location in case you forget which route you took!
Sometimes I'll snap a photo of a location as we are driving by it (only when I'm the passenger!). I'll put the cross streets in my phone, screenshot our location on a map, or try drop a pin if we are not on the move. Next, I use step three to find the exact address!
3. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T HAVE A CAR
After moving to Seattle and selling my car, I had to come up with a new method to find locations. If Mr. Jones is out of town or I don't have time to drive around to scout on the weekends, I would begin by looking up the cross streets, addresses, or exact location that I had typed into my notes.
Next, I zoom into this location on Google maps and use Street View. This is when I virtually "drive" down the street to find the exact location that I saw and make sure that it is a good spot for blog photos. I usually drive down nearby streets to see if there are any other interesting locations in the same area!
When using the Street View on Google maps, make sure that you check the date that the photo was taken. Usually you can find this information in the top left corner. If the photo is really old, you might want to do a drive-by of the location to make sure that the location is still there! This might sound crazy, but when you live in a city like Seattle with so much construction, buildings come and go quickly!
4. INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS AND LOCATIONS
This is a newer method I've been using, but it works really well! First, I'll search hashtags for the city I'm in. I'll use neighborhood hashtags, park hashtags, and anything that relates to what I'm looking for. You never know what you might find on Instagram! If I find a photo that is geotagged (meaning the location is right under the person's username), I will use the Google Maps method from tip #3 next to double check the location. If it's not geotagged, I usually try to find the exact location on Google Maps or keep searching on Instagram until I find an image that is geotagged. If this sounds really time consuming, it is! However, it's so worth it to find great photo locations for your blog posts!
Last but not least, I search for locations on Instagram and look through photos to see if the area is worth investigating. For example, last week I searched for a certain Seattle park/neighborhood and clicked on the locations tab. After searching through maybe 70 photos, I decided it was definitely worth my time to drive around on Sunday morning and find some spots and the area did not disappoint!
I hope that these tips will help you to find new and improved locations for your photo shoots! I know it's a lot to read through, but I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments and if you have any other scouting techniques I should add!
Have a great day!