The best of memories, if not written down immediately, can be very easily forgotten. With the number of variables we talked about in part 1, locations you stumble upon during your everyday life, while traveling or when intentionally scouting, we can all agree recollecting the details for each and every location can get tricky.
So, how can we remember? Design Aglow contributor Andrea Joki believes, “A Location Field Book can be an excellent option for documenting finds. Always carry it with you when you travel and be ready to jot down notes about the location, time of day, and points of interest. If you can, snap a quick photo to include in the book. You will find that over time you will build an impressive list of places to shoot.” Today, we are sharing a free and useful tool that will help you document and organize the discoveries you find out on the road. This complimentary template will help you to build an effective location field book. But first, let's review the type of information you will ideally want to include in your location field book!
• Location address for GPS and clients
• Notes specific to the area such as parking requirements or unique features
• Best times of the day to shoot there
• Seasonal changes such as deciduous trees, snow features, rainy months, etc.
• Availability (such as opening and closing hours)
• A snapshot (or sketch) or two of the general area
• Portraits you've taken there in the past
• Any permission requirements
• Information on liability waivers
Andrea further explains, as you fill up your Location Field Book, you can begin to sort it by subject type: e.g. sections showing locations appropriate for seniors, for children, for couples, or sort by location type: e.g. urban, rural, beachy. Then you'll have a quick reference at your fingertips when clients call.
Need help getting started? Download the Location Scouting Field Book template! This handy template makes it easy to keep the information and ideas organized and accessible for future photo shoots! On the template, you will be able to insert information like the location type, address and additional space for miscellaneous notes, such as parking requirements. In addition, the template focuses on questions to ask yourself when you are out scouting. What do you love most about it? What are the special features about the area and why do you believe it is unique and special? It also touches on shot ideas, perhaps, what type of poses you would use on your clients and at what angle you would shoot at? Lastly, you can insert your snapshots of the location and any other thoughts or ideas you would want to remember about it. This resource will serve you well when planning upcoming sessions with your clients, so don't miss it!
Taking your Field Guide a Step Further: Once you've started to use the journal and have a repertoire completed, you can create a collection to show clients, either as a PDF/slideshow or an inspiring presentation art book for in-person meetings. Include images from sessions at that location, optimal seasons/times to shoot, clothing ideas and any other notes to get clients inspired. One of the best selling points of location photographers is that they know their areas well and how to photograph them effectively. Watch how your perceptions evolve and a new innovative vision takes your imagery to another level!
I fell in love with documenting the stories of couples, when I realized I never wanted anyone else to feel the way my husband and I do about our own wedding images. We describe them as "really nice pictures of other people.” There’s nothing about them that feels authentic.
That’s when my work became more than a pretty picture.