As a photographer, you only need a few things to capture a stunning photograph. One of the most important ones is finding a great location for your photoshoot.
Photography is all about unleashing the true potential of one’s imagination. It takes time and experience to grow from an amateur photographer to a pro-level. In this journey one of the most exciting experiences you will get as a photographer is meeting new people, working in extreme locations, showing creativity, buying new equipment, etc.
If you have these things then capturing a creative photograph can be a matter of seconds.
In this article, we’ll talk specifically about the importance of a location for photography and how to find the best outdoor photoshoot locations near you? Near the bottom of the article, we have some specific photography genre advice for macro and landscape photography.
So sit back, take a cup of coffee and keep reading, because this article may change your method for searching for a perfect photography location.
The Location Provides The Background To Your Photo Shoot
Before we explore the ways you can find locations for capturing a photograph, there’s something you need to know first. Why do you need a good location for capturing an image? There are multiple reasons for this. The most obvious reason is to get a background that actually helps you to highlight the subject and also makes the concept of the theme clear.
The location is what we need to get a great background to highlight our subject. Therefore finding a great location that actually goes with your theme is important.
Let’s not waste any more time and jump into the answer to the question “which are the best places to take pictures near you?”.
Tips on How to Find Photography Locations Near You
As you know that there are lots of websites nowadays that are helping out photographers to find a perfect location for their next photo shoot.
One of these websites is Shothotspot. This website gives the list of the most famous places to capture near your area. I also tried using this website and when I entered the name of my area on the search box it gave a list of the most engaging photography places near me.
Shothotspot uses algorithms to search for the most interested and photographed places near your area from the map and gives a list with sample pictures of those destinations.
It can be a great tool for photographers to find the best location for capturing images that create an impression.
Google Earth / Maps / Street View
There are lots of various kinds of online maps that help you find the type of location you’re searching for. But not all of these maps have a great search engine to back them up as Google does.
To help people gather knowledge about a specific location and how it actually looks like in reality, Google has gathered all this information in Google map. Google map uses satellite to show the actual image of that area or the location. It also shows a list of the specific places that are of public interest and capturing images in those locations will engage people.
Google earth is also another application developed by Google. It shows the locations as a 3D image, which makes it easier for a photographer to get an idea of the location looks in real life. Google map can be a great help for photographers in choosing the best location for a brilliant photo shoot.
Google Street View
Google has always been the best of the best. They have always thought of helping people of all the professions. One of their applications is the street view. It helps you to check a location from the eye level perspective. You can see how the location looks by checking the view from the streets just like when you see while walking on the street. It gives a real feel of that location. You can sit at comfort at home and can feel like walking on a street looking at the view of the location using your smartphone. This is how a street view application can help you in searching for the most suitable location for your next photo shoot.
You can go to street view from Google Maps, but you can also use an alternative viewer: InstantStreetView.
Use 500px or Flickr to Find Photography Locations in Your Area
There are some sites that are hosting images and helping a photographer to showcase their work in a community filled with photography lovers. These sites have works of many professional photographers and artists. They showcase these photos with the location where it was captured.
Creating profiles in such sites will help you showcase your images, find locations from other photographers as well as sell your images.
Some of the most world-recognized image hosting sites are 500px and Flickr. These two sites have the largest community of photographers. The best thing is that it can give you valuable information about where the gorgeous photos were captured.
You can check locations from the location tags of the images. Flickr also has a map display that shows you the photoshoot locations reported by the users when they upload their images.
Instagram is becoming quite popular in social media these days. Many new photographers are showing their works and talents on this platform.
You can search for the type of photography you want to capture like portrait, landscape, abstract, etc. You will find posts or images with those hashtags or keywords. Then you can also see the location tags where the image was captured. This way you can get locations that might help you to capture images that have a lot of engagements.
Try choosing location from those images which have more likes because these are backgrounds people love. If you choose such locations then your images are bound to become popular soon. Instagram can be found easily on App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android). You can share your work as well as gather ideas from other’s work.
Follow Famous Photographers
There are many famous Photographers who are currently the leaders of this industry.
Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, Elliott Erwitt, etc are some of the current photographers in the world.
Use your social media accounts to search for the tops photographers and follow them. You can see and learn from their work as well as can check the location tags from their images to find the best places or locations to capture images that will create a good engagement of your images.
Some famous photographers roam around the world to capture images that are unique. You can check the locations of those places and can save them on your bucket list.
City Attractions are Often Also Great Photography Locations
Each and every city has some attractive spots which attract a lot of visitors. Tourists who visit your city would check out those places too.
You can use attractive locations in your city and use them as a background for your photo shoot. If you need to find a location in a city that you don’t know, you can ask relatives, friends, locals, or even online about such locations. You might get lucky and get advice about hidden gems, or places that are attractive but not overcrowded. These photography locations will be the places for your masterpiece for sure.
Reach Out to Local Photographers
Talk to local photographers about where they go to shoot a specific type of photography. Ask them a few questions, like: Do you know any good places nearby for an outdoor portrait photography session? Where around here, can you find great photography locations for landscape photography? Where would you go to watch a sunset?
Many photographers would be willing to share their favorite locations with you. However, I have also come across a few competitive minded photographers who wouldn’t share any of the great photography locations nearby. But it can’t hurt asking, and you might go away with a few great hints that you wouldn’t be able to find using an app or online map.
One of the easiest ways to connect with local photographers is online. Just Google: “Photography groups near [city name],” and you should get a few qualified leads on photographers to approach. If you are already living in the area, attending a local photography group will get you in contact with other local experts. You can share your own location experiences, and get inspiration from others about photography locations nearby.
Drive Around the State to Scout Photography Locations
One of the most entertaining ways to find locations for your photography is to go look for it yourself.
Pack a bag with food, lenses and camera equipment. Invite yourself for a long drive in your car.
Go around the city and search for the best locations that will attract your eyes. Always remember if a scene or location attracts your eyes and conquers your heart then that is the best location to use as a background for your photo shoot.
Often when I need to find a great outdoor photo shoot location near me I take my car and go for a drive around the city and make a not about the locations that attracted me.
Plan for Great Lighting
Once you have found your perfect location for a photography shoot near you, it is a good idea to find the best time to visit. Timing the shoot with great light is important for both fashion and outdoor portrait photography. It is indispensable for landscape photography.
Often I also flip the scouting and lighting part around. Sometimes I use one of these apps and set the date and time of the day where I need to shoot and locate a wider location/area where the shoot can take place. Then I begin to narrow down the possible photography sites based on where the light falls precisely right to what I need for the shoot. Then I take note of these possible photography locations and visit them to see if I can find some interesting compositions that could work with my subject.
Where To Find Locations for Landscape Photography Near Me?
When looking for landscape photography locations near your home, one of the best advice besides the above might be to visit a local bookstore and search for photo books or calendars published by local photographers and ask your friends if they know these locations, if you don’t know them already. Maybe to capture the same scene with a fresh mind, finding new angles, and get even better shots out of the same photo locations.
Want to learn more?
How to Find Great Locations for Macro Photography Near Me?
In macro photography, a great location is where your subjects are. If you want to photograph flowers, then a botanical garden, a meadow, might be the best locations near you for macro photography. If you instead want to photograph insects, then you might be able to find a website in your country that lets users register the latest finding of specific species and where they were found. This is a great source for finding great locations for macro photography near you. Often these websites have a map feature, where you can search for the latest finding of specific animals or animal groups within a 5 km radius.
Challenge yourself to discover new photography areas in your general surrounding area. Regardless of where on the planet you live, you can utilize these assets to search and find the best photography locations near you.
Following the above steps will always help you capture amazing photos and find locations that are great for photography. Always remember to get the best images you need an inspiring location for it.
The first step would be stepping out of your home and begin searching. You will need to keep your batteries charged and yourself filled with energy to find out the best location around you.
Featured photo by David Bartus from Pexels
Hey, I’m Amy. I’m part of the writer team at Photography-RAW. Besides writing in-depth articles about photography, I also take part in making sure that the website runs smoothly here on Photography-RAW.