How to Find Great Photography Locations

It's thanks to the generosity of photographers that more photographers continue to find great locations for taking pictures.
It's thanks to the generosity of photographers that more photographers continue to find great locations for taking pictures. | Source

Photographers are always on the lookout for good shooting locations. Whether they are scouting potential locations for outdoor sessions with clients or are simply looking for interesting places that could present neat opportunities for pictures, it's a constant search. The good news is that there are a lot of readily available and free or very affordable resources for all sorts of locations. With options ranging from Instagram hashtags to networking with fellow photographers to asking clients, there is something for everyone. Happy hunting!

Where can you go to find great photography locations for outdoor sessions and more?

 
Just a Few Ideas
 
Photo Sharing Websites
Instagram
Be on the Lookout
Forums
Networking
Google Map Street Views
Talk to Clients
Talk to Site Owners
Photo Location-Specific Sites
One of my favorite photo sharing websites for finding new Milwaukee photography locations is the Flickr Cream City group.
One of my favorite photo sharing websites for finding new Milwaukee photography locations is the Flickr Cream City group. | Source

Photo Sharing Websites

People upload thousands of photos onto the most popular photo sharing websites everyday. You can look for general location ideas, such a great spots for photographing newborn babies, or you can search for locations within a specific area. In addition to doing general searches, don't forget to check out groups as well. Many photo sharing websites have groups for a wide range of topics. You should be able to find something that fits your specific needs. I've linked just a few of the most popular photo sharing sites, but don't be afraid to explore others, too.

My DSLR, Eye-Fi, Snapseed, Instagram Workflow

Instagram

There are a couple great ways to find photography locations on Instagram.

  • Follow photographers. All sorts of photographers love to share their work on Instagram. If you can find even a handful of people who post photos that are relevant to you, you're guaranteed to get some great inspiration.
  • Check relevant hashtags. The second method actually goes along with the first one. If you find great people to follow, it's likely that they use some awesome hashtags. There are tons of location-specific hashtags (i.e. #Chicago, #Wisconsin) as well as more general photography hashtags (i.e. #bokeh, #nofilter).

Whenever I'm driving around Milwaukee, I'm always on the lookout for potential locations. This cemetery where I took this shot is a perfect example of where this looking can lead.
Whenever I'm driving around Milwaukee, I'm always on the lookout for potential locations. This cemetery where I took this shot is a perfect example of where this looking can lead. | Source

Stay on the Lookout

One of the simplest ways to scout new photography locations is to be on the lookout at all times. This may seem like an overwhelming, exhausting notion, but once you get in the habit, it will become unconscious. Any time you're out and about and you see an interesting spot, make a note about it. You may not have time to stop and check it out right then and there, but you can always come back and/or look up more information online. Now that a lot of people know that I'm always scouting new photography spots, I get a lot of recommendations, too, which is pretty cool.

I've gotten some great ideas for photo locations from fellow Milwaukee photographers.
I've gotten some great ideas for photo locations from fellow Milwaukee photographers. | Source

Networking

Whether you are a hobbyist photographer or professional photographer or somewhere in the middle, it's important to get out there and meet other photographers. There is nothing like getting to discussion one of your passions with like minded people in person. Not all photographers are willing to discuss their favorite locations, as they're worried that people will steal their good ideas. While it is never okay to copy people's art explicitly, there is nothing wrong with using a great location with your own clients and own ideas.

Five Reasons Networking Is Important (For Photographers)

Forums

When you can't network with photographers in person and/or you're looking for information about locations that you haven't been able to find elsewhere, check out some photography forums. There are tons of forums online that can be a great resource for all sorts of photography topics, including locations. I've linked just a couple options on the right. Don't be afraid to explore additional forums as well.

The street view of St. Josaphat Basilica in Milwaukee gives you a great taste of the stunning exterior architecture.
The street view of St. Josaphat Basilica in Milwaukee gives you a great taste of the stunning exterior architecture. | Source

Street Views on Google Maps

If you have an idea for a new location and are looking for more information, put the address into Google Maps and check out the street view. Unless you are searching in an extremely remote location, you are likely to get a pretty good street view. You won't get interior shots, but you may get a great exterior shot.

These lovely people were not actually my clients, but sometimes clients do have fabulous ideas for photography locations like the Sprecher Brewery pictured here.
These lovely people were not actually my clients, but sometimes clients do have fabulous ideas for photography locations like the Sprecher Brewery pictured here. | Source

Ask Clients

Sometimes clients have their own ideas for locations for engagement pictures, family photos, newborn sessions, and more. Many times these locations will be familiar to you, especially if you've been shooting in the area for a while, but you never know when a client will bring you to a great new location.

Preparation and Posing Tips for Couples on Photo Shoots

If you're interested in a location that is locked, private, or otherwise inaccessible, do a little investigating.
If you're interested in a location that is locked, private, or otherwise inaccessible, do a little investigating. | Source

Talk to Site Owners

Have you ever come across a location that wasn't accessible but looked like it had great potential? Don't be afraid to look into it. Your inquiries may not get you anywhere, but a few phone calls or emails may get you exclusive access to a little known spot in town.

Photography Location-Specific Websites

Thanks to the capability to geo-tag photos and the generosity of numerous photographers who make use of this feature, sites like ShutterGuides and ShotHotspot can exist. Once upon a time, this type of archiving and research would have been extremely tedious and time consuming, but that is not so anymore. The best part is that it's very easy to add your own content. Once you've used one of these resources for a while, take the time to pay back the community by contributing a few shots.

© 2013 Rose Clearfield

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Comments 32 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Great hub, Rose. Having the photos either makes or breaks the hub. I have decided not to write certain hubs because I didn't have the photos I needed (and had plenty of other topics I could go to that did have photos available). Also, I've had a great photo that I planned a hub around. Media makes writing jump off the page in our short-attention universe. Voted up, more, and sharing.


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

I really love that first photo of yours. What a great hub and I love your ideas. I recently met up with local photographers in my area that I met via flickr. This was perfect because I we went urban exploring and took photos at an abandoned building that I would be too scared to go to by myself.


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Great advice. I love photography and am always looking for tips and fresh ideas on where to take pictures. Thank you!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

FlourishAnyway, you're absolutely right about photos for articles. I have also decided against writing particular articles because I didn't have the photos that I wanted. It's always a tough realization, but it's better to go ahead with those other topics with plenty of readily available photos.

Thanks, Heather! That's great about meeting up with local photographers through Flickr. It's always best practice to visit those type of places with other people.

Thanks, epbooks! That's great. I'm glad that this is a helpful resource for you.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Wow lots of good info, much news to me, thank you. I do file away spots I want to come back to to photograph. I don't always get to before the season changes but many times I do. ^


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm glad that you got a lot out of this article, Jackie! I don't get to all of the spots on my list every season either, but having that list keeps the ideas flowing.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Interesting and so useful .

Voted up and shared.

Eddy.


BNadyn profile image

BNadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

Great hub! I love photography, one of my hobbies and I want to explore more of it. It helps to have great photos for writing since many times they do go hand in hand. Some of my favorite spots to take pictures in my city are the beach, parks and a museum's garden. I have the inspiration to take more at locations like my old middle and high school, the outside of older buildings like warehouses and downtown buildings with murals. There are so many ways to get great shots even at simple locations and I like your idea of asking the owner if you are not sure because you never know! Nice tips here. :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Eddy! I'm so glad to hear that.

BNadyn, that's great! You're right that great photos are a wonderful asset for writing. It's awesome that you live in an area with so many opportunities for photography. Best of luck to you!


Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Having good and relevant photos is essential for any article. Thanks for this greatly interesting presentation and tips on finding sources with a lot of photos.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Yes, for sure! I'm glad that you enjoyed this article.


watergeek profile image

watergeek 3 years ago

I was taking so many photos of wildflowers and native plants in gardens that I finally put together some screensaver photo files. It's a real kick to pour a glass of wine and turn on the screensaver now. So far I haven't written a hub specifically to showcase a particular photo, but that's a good idea. Something new to try.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

That's cool, watergeek! It's so satisfying to use your own photos for something like that. Writing a hub with the intention of showcasing a particular photo is an interesting idea. You'll have to let me know if you give it a try.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

This a very useful Hub for photographers, thank you for sharing the info.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm so glad to hear that, jainismus!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

You have a lot of excellent examples of places to get great photographs. I never would have thought about Google Maps had you not mentioned it here. I love that idea.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Marlene! I'm glad that you were able to get a new idea from this article. Have fun with it!


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

I'm thankful to have your tips for finding great photography locations. Thank you for sharing those informative ideas.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 3 years ago from South Carolina

I love taking photos but except for HubPages, have never shared them on other sites.

This well researched article, full of great resources and ideas for finding great photo shoot locations and for sharing photos is very inspirational.

Thanks for sharing this info.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

That's great, agusfanani! Best of luck with your photography.

I'm so glad to hear that, Happyboomernurse! I hope that you'll explore other venues for sharing your photos now.


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Again, great tips for photographers (including those of us who are doing it by force! I'm the reporter who's now a photographer too, remember?) I would love to find more time to learn more about photography. I actually do enjoy it and would like to become better at it. I appreciate these simple but practical tips. Voting up and useful.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm so glad that this is helpful for you, Crystal! I hope that you can find time to learn more about photography and work on your skills.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for enlarging my thinking on finding good photography locations. This offers a lot of helpful info for me. Pinning to my Photography board.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm so glad that this is helpful for you, RTalloni!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

I would have never thought to use Google maps to scope out good locations for photos, but you are right. Those street views allow you to get a good idea what is there without leaving your house.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I wouldn't have thought of it on my own either, but it's a great idea!


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

These are really interesting ideas. I really only take photos of my recipes and crafts. Sometimes others, but this would be useful if I ever branched out.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Glimmer Twin Fan! I'm glad that you think that this article has some helpful ideas.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

This is such great advice! I was expecting - look at a park, etc., but looking at photos, joining groups, and asking around would let you find those little-known out of the way locations that would make the best photos. Voted up!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Shasta! I'm glad that you found this article to be so helpful.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

This is a very useful Hub! I never knew what Instagram was before, but I have heard people talking about it.

We live near a lot of beaches. There is a state park locally that has amazing photographing potential. It amazes me more people do not bring their cameras when visiting. I always find something to photograph whether it be a family of swans, a beautiful day, interesting nature, etc.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, CraftytotheCore! If you enjoy photography, I recommend checking out Instagram. It's great that you have a lot of opportunities for photography in your area!

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