Are you looking for tips on finding photo shoot locations? If so, this blog post is for you. I’m sharing the different platforms I use to find photo shoot locations for my blog and Instagram Emma’s Edition.
One of my favorite things to do is to find new photo shoot locations. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love stumbling upon a new place as I scroll online. I love wandering around a new city and discovering colorful murals or adorable houses.
As my blog has continue to grow, my love for finding aesthetically pleasing or unique photo locations also has grown.This year, I updated my mission statement to capture this love of finding new places. My mission and vision for my blog is to “inspire the modern woman to explore, create, and live life with style”. I hope to encourage millennial women to embrace their own personal style and explore their hometowns and new cities.
To continue to
deliver on this mission, I’m constantly looking for new places to shoot at.
Whether I’m looking for new photo shoot locations in Seattle or visiting a new
city like Pittsburgh, I truly enjoy the hunt. So today I wanted to share the platforms
I use and how I use these platforms to find photo shoot locations.
Here are a few ways I find photo shoot locations for my blog:
Platform #1: Instagram
With more than 800 million active monthly users on Instagram, Instagram is the first platform I go to scout photo shoot locations. There are millions of photos uploaded to Instagram daily around the world. The great thing about Instagram is that you can find photo shoot locations in three distinct ways:
Search by location:
If you’re heading to a new city like New York or Boston, you can search specific locations to see where people are sharing photos. I recommend typing in the city location and looking at both “Top” post and “Recent” posts under that city.
For example, I found NoMo SoHo through Instagram. This location is usually featured in the “Top” posts of New York City or SoHo. I knew I wanted to visit this New York City photo shoot location last year so Karya and I added it to our shot list. I featured NoMo SoHo in 10 Most Instagrammable Places to See in NYC blog post.
Search relevant hashtags #explorenewyork:
Another way to find photo shoot locations through Instagram is to search the relevant hashtags. Personally, I use a variation of travel hashtags to find photo shoot locations of a new city I’m visiting.
For example, when I went to Pittsburgh for the first time last fall, I used #LovePGH because this is the @visitpittsburgh’s main hashtag. I also used #PittsburghBlogger to see what locations the local bloggers took photos at.
Create a saved folder for the location:
As I search through locations and hashtags, I save the photos in location specific albums. I’ve made albums for New York, Portland, and Boston. Saving the photos all in one folder helps me stay organize and helps me figure out the top 6-10 places I plan on visiting.
Platform #2: Pinterest
Search by “Instagram
spots in LOCATION”
After Instagram, I usually hop on Pinterest to find photo shoot locations for my blog. I recommend searching by “most instagrammable places LOCATION” or a variation of that search term. I usually comb through Pinterest to find relevant pins and blog posts to help me find photo shoot locations.
Search by “Things to do in LOCATION”
A great way to find hidden or not as popular photo shoot locations is to search for things to do in the city you’re visiting. This is a little bit more time intensive. I usually click through peoples weekend recaps of the city to see if they posted any photos of the restaurants, coffee shops, or sights they visited.
Sometimes I don’t discover any photo shoot locations but other times I do. For instance, I found Market Square in Pittsburgh on a weekend guide from Pinterest, not Instagram. I was surprised that Pittsburgh bloggers hadn’t really shot or featured Market Square in their Instagram feeds.
If you’re planning a trip to Pittsburgh soon, I recommend checking out Market Square especially close to the holidays! Here are Pittsburgh’s Most Instagram Worthy Places.
Plaftform #3: Google
“instagrammable places LOCATION”
Because Pinterest and Google are both search engines, I use the same techniques to find photo shoot locations for my blog. I usually search “instagrammable places LOCATION” or “Instagram worthy locations in CITY”.
One tip I have for using google to find photo shoot locations is to not be afraid to click on the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th results page.
Search by “Things to do in LOCATION”
Like Pinterest, I also use Google to search “things to do in LOCATION”. I enjoy going through the city guides and blog posts on the top things to do in the next city I’m visiting.
Platform #4: Yelp
Search “Cute Coffee Shops in CITY/LOCATION”
Yelp is my go
to platform to find Instagram worthy coffee shops and restaurants in Seattle
and in the new cities I’m visiting. Again, this is a little bit more time
intensive. You have to click through the photos of each location and scroll
through the pages of restaurants and coffee shops.
You also have to see the potential of each location. A lot of photos uploaded into Yelp are usually focused on the food. Sometimes you might only see a snippet or a few photos of the inside of the restaurant.
For instance, the photo below is near the bathroom of a new coffee shop that recently opened in Seattle called Santo Coffee. I found only one photo of the interiors featuring this wall in the background.
Here are all
the Instagram guides I’ve used Yelp for:
Most Instagrammable Coffee Shops
Instagram Worthy Plant Shops in Seattle
Seattle’s Most Instagrammable Dessert Places
There you have it friends! The platforms I use to find new photo shoot locations.
What tips do you have to help find photo shoot spots?
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec & Holly Phan & Maddy
I definitely just drive around and look for good places!
Thank you so much for posting this! I’m new to blogging and absolutely terrible with photos, partly because my bathroom and office just don’t cut it.
Choose a Meaningful Place. It’s easy to choose a portrait location based on convenience. Use Natural Lighting. Most professional portrait photographers swear by natural lighting, and some refuse to shoot in anything else.