This is me. With three kids, life gets CRAZY! And taking ALL THREE KIDS anywhere is not a task easy to do solo. Come evening, it is time for the dinner and bedtime routine, and come Saturday my day is packed with photoshoots.
I know how difficult it can be to get out and location scout before a session, especially if you have kids! I love them to pieces, but definitely, do not have the same flexibility I did before I became a mom.
When I started doing photography in 2009, I was busy with school, full time, and doing shoots between film projects, homework and editing. By 2011, I still had school full time, and my schedule was PACKED! I did 35 weddings that year, on top of a hundred more of other sessions like seniors, headshots, families, bridals, engagements and babies. Then there was all of the custom slideshows, wedding albums, sign in books, cd's to burn, galleries to upload and of course... all the editing. Up til 2 am editing! I legit had a full plate. In between sessions, I would do some scouting here and there. On date night we would mix in the scouting for fun. But there were times it was still a HUGE stress!
Brides would want to have the perfect wildflowers for their bridals, and there would be lovely wildflowers in whatever field I had scouted the week before their session, then the week of their session they were gone! I would run into panic, "I need a plan B quick!" and not be familiar enough with the area. And guess what? That lack of expertise did NOT look professional. It will forever ring in my head, one bride, "I thought you said you knew where wildflowers were!" And there we were, where just 1-2 weeks earlier the flowers were perfect, but we arrived and they were all gone. I hadn't taken the time to plan a plan B. Google maps was not as developed then, so I had to drive and scout in person. Facebook groups were not as developed for quick sharing to find any quick answers, so I was on my own.
Here is a picture of me on the way out the door to a maternity/ family session. They tend to have a few props involved. Oh the joy of the juggle of photography! I feel that being a photographer requires SO many hats!
One of the things that clients expect, without really realizing the height of their expectation, is that we, as photographers have this AMAZING ability to know the conditions, such as flowers, at all times before their session. And since I was located in Salt Lake County, traveling down to Utah county was not a super quick stop!
Another time, I had a beautiful field planned. I scouted the day before and then arriving the NEXT day, someone had come and picked all the flowers! Hey, um... i guess, cheap wedding bouquets. But seriously! Gah! So, again no flowers for that session. Fortunately, my couple was not expecting it. You can plan and be prepared and still get tossed in a loop.
One of the things that I have worked on developing in The Complete Utah Photography Locations Guide, is plan B locations. Sometimes you are just stuck in a bit of pickle!
Also, the map pins are so great. Show up to a location to find an event is occurring, that you failed to foresee? Just look for quick reference of nearby options.
May the way be paved so your adventures are a little smoother.