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Location Scouting

Lesson 13 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

13. Location Scouting

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The lesson is about location scouting for engagement photography. The instructor emphasizes the importance of scouting every location, even if it's a familiar place, as it helps with lighting, planning, and creativity. The instructor also discusses how location influences the style and approach of the photos, with good locations allowing for wider shots and less modification, while worse locations require tighter shots and more special effects.


  1. Why is location scouting important for engagement photography?

    Location scouting helps with lighting, planning, and creativity.

  2. Should photographers rush through a shoot without scouting the location?

    No, rushing through a shoot without knowing the scene and available light may result in shooting things that look the same as what the photographer has always done.

  3. How does location influence the approach to photography?

    Good locations allow for wider shots and less modification, while worse locations require tighter shots and more special effects.

  4. Should photographers use a beautiful location to its full potential?

    Yes, using a beautiful location allows for showcasing the natural beauty and requires less modification.

  5. What could happen if a client permits a beautiful location and the photographer only shoots tight shots?

    The client may be unhappy as they expected the photographer to showcase the beauty of the location in the photos.

Next Lesson: Seeing the Light


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Location Scouting

We're talking about location scouting. This is an excerpt from our wedding workshop. So location scouting helps with several different things. We location scout every venue, every place, if it's an engagement place that I've been to a thousand times I'll still go a little bit early, and when we take clients to multiple locations, don't be shy asking them, say, "Hey, guys, hold on for one second. "Just relax for one second. "Let me take a look at this area real quick." Do it, take your five minutes, don't be rushed, because this scouting is gonna help you not only with the lighting, but then the planning, and also I refer to shooting because it helps you with creativity. If you're running and rushing through a shoot because you have one hour and you don't know the scene and you don't know what's there and what's available and where the light is and so forth, then you end up just going back to your roots, which is you just default to what you're comfortable with. So you end up shooting t...

hings that look the same as what you've always done. So location scouting helps us get out of that a little bit. And what I want to say is that we play to every single location, okay? So this is our approach to scouting, is that we do this: if we see the location as being a good location, this opens up opportunity for us to shoot wider, to use more depth of field, and to use less special effects, meaning that the more of our work is already done for us, like and a scene is just naturally beautiful, the more that we kind of don't need to do that much to modify it, right? We might put down a light, we might do a few different things, but we're not gonna do a ton of crazy stuff, or at least we don't need to. When we flip to the other side, the worse the location, the more that we're gonna shoot tight, we're gonna use a very shallow depth of field, we're gomma use less depth of field, we're gonna use more special effects, and we got to become magicians. I'm gonna feel really dumb by the end of this doing that over and over and over. So this is our little chart that we kind of show our people, like look if you're going to a really great spot, use it. And if you, the other thing that we sometimes get is if a client goes and they permit a really nice location, and you go to that location and shoot a bunch of tight shots, from an expectation standpoint what's gonna happen is they're gonna be unhappy, right? Why do we pay for this, why did we get this beautiful place, and you didn't show it off in the photos?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work