Location Scouting & Portrait Session


So I struck off into my neighborhood in Hollywood last night with two objectives: to do some location scouting and shoot some self-portraits. I want to start doing some casual portrait shoots at night, so I’m scouting nearby areas for spots that have great lighting for night portraits. I’ve also decided to start shooting a lot more self-portraits, because I’m always available to shoot whenever I feel like shooting portraits, and I shoot for free.

Before I jump into the details of the evening’s shoot, I want to mention this excellent location scouting app I discovered. It’s called MapAPic Location Scout, and it’s the perfect tool for creating and organizing shoot locations.

It was created by a photographer, and it definitely shows; it gives me all the tools I want and nothing I don’t need. It’s simple, streamlined and incredibly useful. It uses your phone’s GPS so you drop a pin to create a location, add a location name, easily add photos and notes, and add tags to help organize your locations. I’ve only just started using it, but I’m already in love with it.

I re-discovered some good night shoot spots and added them to my locations app. I stuck to exploring the residential blocks nearby, because it’s just more practical to set up a tripod and work on self-portraits without a lot of people around. I found some promising spots and experimented with shooting some photos. The most challenging part of this, so far, is achieving good focus, since I can’t focus on the subject while I’m behind the camera. I’ve decided to put this issue aside for now; there are plenty of other things to focus on with these shots that don’t require crisp focus.

I didn’t have any specific shot ideas in mind when I set out last night, I just wanted to experiment and find out of these locations could really work for creating professional-grade images.