Of all the questions I get asked, a few of them keep on coming back almost every week. How do you find these locations? How do you get access to them and how much time do you have on location?
How do I find them? Google, and word of mouth, I ask around, family, friends and of course, like any tourist, Google is your friend. Just type in the name of your city, and the most famous landmarks and attractions will pop up. From there, it's really easy you can find online the emails, addresses, and phone numbers you need for almost any location you wish to work in...
It's really that simple!
Now that you have all the information, just call and ask! Show them your work and explain to them what you wish to do and why and they will tell you if it's possible.
Now when you have contacted a hundred of them, and only two of them answered your multiple calls and emails, the big question will be what will you be allowed to do there and for how long. Generally, you don't have a lot of time. Museums, monuments, they rarely open their doors outside business hours and I get at best two to three hours to install, shoot pack and leave.
Sometimes it could be just one hour... Of course, if it's a commercial shoot, and if the client has the budget, you might as well have the entire place for yourself.
When that happens you need to know beforehand exactly what you are going to do there, how you are going to do it, and exactly where.
Before I used my cell phone and visited the place a few days before the shoot. Took tons of pictures, ad a reference for me the model, and the entire team. I explain as best as I can what I wish to do, the number of pictures, the tools we will be using, sometimes I already have my compositions and multiple lighting scenarios so that the day of the shoot, we just show up and shoot!
You will lose less time on set, you will be more efficient, you will increase your chance for success especially if your time is limited.
What's great with the Insta360 ONE X is that it simplifies the process. Using the selfie stick, I can just walk around the place and it films everything around me.
When I find a specific spot I might use I just put the camera on the tripod to have a nice clean 360° view of the scene. I will then be able to analyze every detail later.
I decided to get rid of my GoPro a few weeks ago and found that this little device could replace it. It's the ease of use that got me. Put it on a tripod, or on top of your camera, press the record button and that's it. The rest is done in post-production, you choose where the camera looks in post. No more videos where the camera wasn't placed properly and with the different effects you can really get creative and have fun with it!
Unfortunately, as for now, that's all I can say about it... Because a few days ago while standing on its stick, the camera tipped over and fell hard on one of the lenses.
The result is a camera that is now unusable in 360! I guess I know now how fragile it is, I am usually very careful with my gear... Sh*t happens!
I might do a proper review if I can get this fixed or If I get myself another camera... Only time will tell.
How about you, do you prepare your photo shoots? How?