When conceptualizing a shoot, the first thing I usually consider is where I will shoot it. Once I have an idea of where, I can usually start visualizing the actual shot. So I 'm constantly filing possible locations away when I come across one I like. One of the best uses for a phone camera is the ability to keep more than just a mental note. You might need to get permission before hand and be sure to also keep in mind the best time of day light wise. Traffic and parking might also be an issue if you're scouting on a weekend but shooting on a weekday. If possible try to scout it at the same time and day your plan to shoot.
Recently I was commissioned to shoot local pro pool player Oscar Dominguez for Billiards Digest. I considered shooting him at a pool hall but wanted to avoid the obvious and the idea of Montrose Bowl popped into my head. For me it was a cool retro backdrop and a bit of a humorous twist on the usual place you'd find a world class player.
I love a good diner location. For a recent assignment to photograph inspirational cancer survivor Linda Salivate for Providence Magazine, I chose Bobby's in Woodland Hills. When she told me she lived in that area it immediately popped into my head and they were nice enough to let use shoot there. I knew the front window got beautiful afternoon light and I love the character of this place. Excellent pancakes too!
When putting this fashion editorial together for Rue Magazine, I knew early on I wanted to use the Toys location, which is actually the alley behind Tom's Toys in Montrose. However it was just the day before the shoot that I went to a Big Lots in my hood just as the late afternoon light was hitting it. I was captivated by that and the graphic MCM designed building contrasting with the shopping carts. Inspiration hit and we wrapped our shoot there the next afternoon.
all photos & content © Lara Rossignol