Photography has forced me to wander. In the pursuit of an amazing shot, I have explored places that I otherwise would never have stepped foot in. I am kind of a homebody, and I have a comfort zone that I do not stray too far from. Photography has changed that for me, and these five tools have allowed me to find awesome photography locations.
First, I have to thank God for GPS. I am so directionally challenged that it is almost embarrassing. Without these tools, my desire to shoot, and my need for new and different locations then I would have missed out on some amazing places. All because I was afraid of getting lost.
Photography has shown me that not everyone who wanders is lost. I will always find my way home, and I am very grateful to this artform for continuously pushing me out of my comfort zone.Not all who wander are lost...especially if looking for photography locations! Click To Tweet
This website is one of my more recent discoveries but it is quickly becoming my go to. I came across this website while searching for places to shoot when I go to Florida. I am determined to add more digital backgrounds to my shop, and I am not going to let this opportunity go to waste. ShotHotspot has been very helpful especially since I know zip about the area.
Using the website is pretty straight forward. You type in your desired location, and it pulls up a map of the area. The locations are displayed on the map as well as listed off to the side.
What I love about this site is that once you click on a location they show you images that have been upload from other users. That is so helpful because I like to look around virtually to see what the location has to offer. Another great feature is that they list abandoned areas as well.
2) Trip Advisor
Believe it or not, I have learned so much about different areas through the Trip Advisor forums. Locals are eager to talk about the beautiful places to see around their town, and they often include pictures. It is great to hear about the local history, learn about hidden gems that aren’t on a tourist’s radar, and learning about what places to avoid. Huge time saver!
The only thing that I don’t like about using Trip Advisor is that it can be a hit or miss. Sometimes I find tons of threads about how to find great photography locations in their area but other times…not so much. I’ve also found that some people’s idea of a good location is not necessarily what a photographer would be looking for. Trip Advisor is still worth checking out, though!
Disclaimer: Yes, those flowers in my hair are one of the pantyhose newborn headbands I made! 😀
OneofaKind is a photography locations app for both Apple and Android. The idea of the app is pretty neat. Unlike Trip Advisor or ShotHotspot, the photography locations added to the map is by other photographers. To me, this is a big advantage because who knows better about what a photographer is looking for in a location than another photographer?
Upon choosing a location, the app will display the area as well as tips from other photographers who have shot there. They also show the sun’s position and the weather which is pretty awesome.
I have not used the app but I think it is worth the download. Worst case scenario is you have to uninstall the app and best is you freakin’ love it!
Google, as everyone knows, is a powerful tool. Often when I am searching for photography locations, I just type it into Google. Google will show me if any locations show up on Trip Advisor or ShotHotspot, if there are any other photographer’s images to draw location inspiration from, and if there is any information that I need to know before shooting there such as a fees, closures, etc.
I always run would be future locations through a quick Google search.
5) Driving Around
Even with all of this technology at our fingertips, nothing will ever beat just getting in your car and driving. There are so many locations out there that you would never find on the internet or that other photographers may dismiss as one of their possible photography locations.
You should obviously drive through areas that you may not be familiar with. Take the back roads or go on a mini road trip. I can’t tell you how many times I have found somewhere that I just know I could get some killer shots at!
Do you know of any other tips or tools to use to find great photography locations? Make sure to tell me in the comments, and share the love!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”