Ever see another photographers photos and think to yourself, "Man, that's an awesome location, I wonder where that is?!"? Me too! So I've put together a guide on how I've found some of the best locations and what has worked for me. Enjoy!
Location scouting. This may not be the answer you want to hear, but it's a tried and true method for finding some amazing hidden locations. A boots-on-the-ground approach can not only find you an awesome location, but will also help you become familiar with the terrain and lighting so that you know how to prepare for a session there. It's always a great idea to bring someone with when you're location scouting (if for nothing else than great company), and never trespass on others' land.
Become familiar with your county assessor's site. This site is a gold mine for contacting landowners to receive permission to use their location for sessions. If you have the address of the location, you can look up who owns it, and write a letter to their address asking if you can use the location. Sometimes the owner will let you use the location free of charge, and others may charge a small fee. I've even bartered before and offered a free session in exchange for using the location.
Network with other photographers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, community over competition! Networking with other photographers in your area isn't just a good way to get referrals, it's a great way to share locations! As long as you aren't offering the exact same type of sessions in the exact same area, many photographers are willing to share some of their public locations. This is especially true if you have a location you are willing to share with them.
Reach out to past clients. Have a past client who had an amazing property? Or a client who had an amazing spot picked out for their session? Reach out to them and ask about using their property or location. The worst they can say is no. Chances are, if they are a past client, they would be willing to trade use of the location for a discounted session.
Talk with family/friends. I know this one seems obvious, but family and friends know of locations you may have never even thought of. My mom knew of some amazing locations in the area that I had never heard of, and I've lived here my whole life!
These tips have helped me broaden my locations from just the same old county parks. Hopefully they help you, too! Happy location hunting! -Grace