Los Angeles is one of the trickiest cities to shoot guerilla photography because everything is considered a film location. With so many TV shows filming in other states and countries, you don’t see as much filming in public places here as you used to, but just try to take a three man crew and a professional camera to the beach and watch what happens! Security will be on you faster than you can “say cheese.” As social media and blogs have exploded, so has everyone’s need to have professional images, and while you can usually get away with street photography in LA if you’re quick, sometimes you need a controlled environment, without the fear of being shut down. These are my go-to resources for finding photoshoot locations in Los Angeles and beyond, from houses to studios. And though I have yet to try this service, I’m sort of obsessed with the idea of Ographr, an app that let’s you order a photographer on-demand!
The Best Photoshoot Locations in Los Angeles
1. LIGHT LAB is a studio located in Atwater Village. It is so perfect if you are looking for a space that offers a multifunctional set up including a very stylish kitchen, living room set up, as well as a backdrop for a more in-studio look. As the light source mostly comes in through the front, you will want to consider bringing in lights to light the kitchen on an overcast day. (Featured images of Light Lab by Jeff Mindell)
2. PEERSPACE is a genius service that offers unique venues for meetings, events, photo and films shoots. Currently available in 12 major cities including London, Paris, and Berlin. We recently used them to find a home with a beautiful kitchen for a photo shoot. Unlike Airbnb, you can pay by the hour, and they are expecting you to use it for shooting purposes.
3. FD STUDIO is a photo studio located in Downtown LA, and is where we shot my company holiday card last year. You pay by the hour, which makes this one of the most affordable options for a studio. It’s bright and airy, with an urban feel—check out their rooftop too. Though downtown can be gritty, it is a great space with easy parking.
Photo taken at The Culver Hotel
4. HOTELS are another great option, depending on what exactly you need, and how long you need the space. Sometimes hotels will just let you shoot in exchange for a post on social media, or getting to use your finished photos for their marketing. I love the Chamberlain in West Hollywood—the decor is amazing, and they have been incredibly generous to let us use the location multiple times for client shoots. The best contact is typically their head of marketing or PR of even the sales director.
Photo by Christine Chang
5. IMAGE LOCATIONS is a great resource when you have a big budget, and need an amazing home. I was lucky a few years ago, in that they happened to be shooting a reality show called “Mansion Hunters”, and were willing to give us a location for our photo shoot in exchange for doing an episode of the show.
Photo taken by Ashley Burns Photography on Melrose Blvd. at N. Almont Dr.
BONUS: While you can’t usually get away with having big photography crews anywhere in LA without a permit (especially at the beach!), if it’s just you and a photographer, it’s way easier. Some of my favorite instagram worthy places in la include the block on Melrose in front of the now closed Au Fudge space (photo above), Larchmont Blvd, and the Levitated Mass exhibit at LACMA (if you go right before sunset, you get the best light with a white background!).