Identifying Your Locations
I use three criteria to help me start identifying locations. And number one is budget parameters. If there's no budget to get me halfway around the world, that's gonna cut down my options slightly. Number two, timeline for deliverables. What is the timescale associated with this shoot? If I need to shoot next week, chewing up a bunch of time and travel is gonna affect me delivering on time. And number three is creative specs, or creative specifications. How are the images gonna be used? They're gonna be used on social. They're gonna be used on print, whatever. Determining this, plus the other two factors will help you begin the process of researching locations. For example, I received an email yesterday, from a prospective client, interested it in an iceberg picture, I'd shot in Canada, about three years ago. And they'd like me to shoot something similar for them. They state that they have no preference for location, but they do suggest Argentina. And my initial reaction is great. I've...
never been to Argentina. I'm about ready to dive in and start researching locations. But tipping back to those earlier points. Do I know their budget? Have they got the budget to fly me to Argentina? Let's establish those ground rules, before we dive into location research. If they haven't the budget to fly me to Argentina, can I shoot this campaign closer to home? I've been to Iceland before. I know there are icebergs there. I know I can get up close to them in a rib, Jökulsárlón Ice lagoon. Maybe this would be a better option, more cost effective option. Tipping back to the third criteria, creative specs. How do they intend to use this image? If it's simply a close up of an iceberg (indistinct) running through the ice. I can shoot this anywhere. Which means Iceland is a really safe bet for me. Another example is a shoot I did for Land Rover. They introduced their new Land Rover Discovery Sport. Came to me, they had a good budget. I could have flown anywhere to shoot this campaign, but I really wanted to keep a story at the heart, of that project. Land Rover began life in North Wales. It was sketched. The first design was sketched into the sand by Morris Wilkes and shown to his brother just after the war. I suggested to Land Rover HQ that I shoot a road trip story, traveling from my hometown in Wales, all the way through the mountains, ending up on that same beach. So there's a really nice story at the heart of that project. Location doesn't just come down to budget for my projects. I like to think about my client, and help their backstory if they have one. Inform my shoot and location is part and parcel of that. So what I'm trying to say is, don't get bogged down with fancy, exotic locations that you see on Instagram. It doesn't always have to run this way. Even if there's a big budget behind a campaign, I don't always travel to the other side of the world to shoot it. With the Land Rover example I'm shooting on my back door. Keep story at the heart of everything you do. (ethereal music)