3 Tips For Outdoor Location Scouting in Los Angeles


If the scene is amazing it is hard not to take an awesome portrait. Planning your location in advance of a photo shoot is a smart move and creates a positive experience for your clients.  Below are three tips to keep in mind for scouting outdoor locations in Los Angeles.

1.     Archive locations you come across naturally.

The best approach for investigating a location is seeing it in person.  As you stroll around neighborhoods take note of areas that catch your eye and snap a photo with your mobile device.  Keep the photos organized for later reference when needed.  I personally use a secret Pinterest board to organize walls and other locations I come across.

2.     Confirm Permit Requirements.

Los Angeles is very complex when it comes to photography shoots and if a permit is required or not.  Even areas that are labeled as public (i.e. public park) do not guarantee you can shoot there for free.  Once a location is determined call the city to check if a permit is required to shoot in that area.  Sometimes a permit is not needed, but there are limits to how much equipment you can bring, so it’s always best to gather all the facts in advance.  Some photographers are willing to take the risk, but I highly recommend against it especially if you have paying clients.

3.     Take note of crowds.

Many great areas in Los Angeles draw in large crowds that make it impossible to take a decent photo. When this occurs check to see how early you can go and shoot in that area and what days are the slowest to avoid the crowds.  This may require you to drive by the area at different times to scope out the scene.  If doing this in advance is not doable kindness goes a long way; politely ask people to move during your shoot.

Until next time, be cool.


Lin Marty

Linda Fernandez