In my almost three years experience in photography doing a photo shoot on location is one of the challenges a photographer must be able to conquer. There are a lot of factors to consider to be able to have a successful on location shoot.
What equipment to bring?
Since I am relatively new to photography and I also don’t have that much cash to spend on gears, I don’t have to deal with this question too much but that is usually the first question that comes to mind.
If you have a second camera or camera body bring it with you in case your main camera fails during the shoot but if you don’t have a spare make sure to test your camera at least a day before the shoot. It would be such a waste of your time and your client’s and the negative feedback that you will get from your client. It was only very recent that I was able to purchase a second camera body (Canon EOS 70D) which I now use as my main camera and my almost 3 year old camera (Canon EOS 600D) has now become my spare.
I usually bring all my three lenses with me during a location shoot, my Canon EFS f/3.5-5.6 18-135mm kit lens, a Canon EF f/1.8 50mm prime lens and a Canon EFS f/3.5-4.5 10-22mm ultra wide lens, just in case I see a nice landscape scene on location or while I am on the way to the location. Only having one lens even if it just a kit lens should not stop you from capturing great shots. The photos here I took using a kit lens that came with my first DSLR.
Although you are shooting outdoors there are still times when you need to use artificial light. One is when you have a back lit subject, shooting in the shadows and just when the sun is about to set. I have my Canon Speedlite with me, a light stand and a softbox. I also have a 5-in-1 reflector which I use when there is still enough light and also when I like to bounce the light coming from the flash off it.
When is the best time to shoot?
I prefer to shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon during the golden hour when shooting outdoors, though when it is cloudy it affords you to be able to shoot between those hours.
Though there are ways to overcome shooting in direct sunlight. Using a large umbrella, a reflector or large sheet of card to block out the sun is normally what I do. You should also check the weather forecast a day or two before the scheduled photo shoot.
These are the factors I usually consider when doing an on-location photo shoot.
Photos taken with a Canon EOS 600D with a Canon EFS f/3.5-5.6 18-135mm IS kit lens.