Scouting / by Erika Sneeringer

The importance of scouting out your location prior to shooting….

Scouting out locations is important even if you are just hobbyist looking to photograph your family or friends and not just professionals with paid clients.  For me, when I go looking for new places I make my family tag along and call it an adventure.  We go on many adventures. 

Our most recent adventure was on Valentine’s Day…. I had the perfect image in my mind of what I wanted.  The Baltimore Love project murals painted all over the city.  My kids standing in front of the mural, love painted behind them, they are looking at each other laughing.  An image filled with love, joy and a little city culture. 

image above is not mine and found through Google Images. 

I’ve seen the murals all over the place but wanted a location that wouldn’t be crowded.  I wanted a location that wouldn’t have cars or other things obscuring my perfect photo op and, of course, in a safe neighborhood.  I found a location only 5 minutes from my house and saw a picture online (apparently taken years ago) and it looked beautiful.  It was perfect.

My husband and two kids gladly tagged along for our little adventure.  I was excited about my perfect portfolio worthy image.  Because in my mind, the images I envision turn out exactly as I want!  Then we get there, find the mural… and….. drumroll please…. it has graffiti all over it.  Oh but there is more…. Graffiti of things you don’t want your children to see.  Yes, spray painted people doing drugs, bad words and even a big penis. 

Thank you.  Thank you jerk faces who have no respect for art!

The mural of the story… I mean moral of the story…. although adventures don’t go as planned, they always make for a good story and a few laughs.  Oh yes and my point…. even if you are just shooting your kids and having fun, it might be a good idea to scout out the location first so you don’t have to shield their eyes from vulgar pictures!