This blog post is geared a bit more towards photographers – but brides, this could be helpful for you, too! When it comes to location scouting for wedding days (and for any other type of shoot!) I am most definitely a planner. I’m not typically the type of person who will just show up to a shoot without a plan, so one of my favorite parts of shooting in a new location is being able to scout it out beforehand!

 I use a couple of programs that help me know exactly what I’ll be going in to, and today I wanted to share them with you!

 1. Sun Position (Demo)

I recently discovered this app and am OBSESSED. Light is king when it comes to photography – it dictates where and how I position my subject, as well as what backdrops we can utilize at particular locations. One of my biggest pain points when it comes to location scouting for wedding days is that, often, it’s hard to actually scout out a location at the exact time I’ll be photographing it, which means I don’t get a good idea of the sun’s position might be in the sky in relation to whoever I’m photographing. Which is where Sun Position comes in! Sun Position maps a course for the sun based on your geographical location so you can see exactly where the sun will be in the sky at any point of the day. This app has been a life saver for me on scouting days when conditions are overcast, or when I’m simply unable to make it to a particular location at the time I’ll be photographing it!

2. Instant Google Street View

If you have access to Google, you have access to this amazing tool! Even though I almost ALWAYS make a point to visit a photo location or venue beforehand, sometimes if it’s SUPER far away and I have to wait until the actual wedding day to do my in person scouting, I use Instant Google Street View to get a better view of what a location might look like! I’ve not only used Instant Google Street View to location scout in advance, but also on weeks where it looks like the portrait session time might get rained out so I can look for covered spots!

 3. Mile IQ

If you are a business, when you location scout you gotta be tracking that mileage so you can write it off come tax time! I used to have a little book I would try to remember to scribble down my mileage in after every drive, but really, it’s hard to make time for that on a wedding day when there are multiple locations and drives to keep track of. And it’s just so easy to forget when you’re thinking about a million other things! What I love about Mile IQ is that it tracks every single drive I take based on my phone’s GPS signal. Then, later in the week, I can categorize each drive as “business” or “personal,” and within each of those overarching categories, give a purpose for each drive, such as errands, location scouting, meetings, etc. This app (which has a mobile and desktop version) has been a HUGE time (and money) saver for me! It does have a monthly related cost, but for me, it’s worth it to know I’m saving every dollar I can come tax time!

 Happy scouting!