Not all photographers have a dedicated indoor yet sometimes you need to shoot a session indoors. Maybe it’s freezing outside, and you don’t want to be out in that. Maybe you just want something fresh and a little quirky. Maybe a building has a special meaning to you or the person you are photographing.

With any luck, they’ll help you find the perfect spot for your next session!

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1. Always be on the lookout

Wherever you go, keep your “photography eyes” open. You may be surprised by how many places transform into a great location once you really start looking.

Some unique and exciting indoor photoshoot locations might include:

  • family photos in the library
  • model portfolio shots in a city building
  • engagement session in the laundromat
  • dance group session in a hotel lobby
  • mom and toddler portraits in a grocery store
  • bridal session in a grand old house, a museum, a quaint bed and breakfast, a roller-skating rink, a university building, a furniture store, a toy store, or a candy store (the list is endless!)

2. Always ask permission

Once you’ve found a place you’d like to use for a photoshoot, make sure you ask permission before you bring a client there.

I find that asking in person is usually best; the staff/owner can see who they’re talking to, and they’ll be much less resistant if they can see your smiling, friendly face. If you do need to ask over the phone, be professional and friendly. Remember, they need to feel comfortable with you coming in, camera setup and model/client in tow.

3. Find an owner who will also benefit

I needed a place to have adorable kids come for photos, but I didn’t know who would want multiple kids and families traipsing in and out of their establishment. Then I came across an adorable little candy shop; it was was decorated perfectly, plus it was full of delicious sweets and treats.

4. Explore your connections

Do you have a friend who owns a quaint little bed and breakfast? Do they work at a museum? If you get hired to photograph that friend, you may be able to get your foot in the door and photograph at that location.

Then, if the photoshoot goes well, your friend/client may be okay with you bringing other people back to the property!

You can also think about your broader friend network. You might not be planning to photograph your best friend, but they may still have a connection to a property that you could use for your shoots.

5. Be the best guest

Once you’ve gotten permission to use a place, never, never, ever let anything get. The whole location should be left exactly how you found it.

If you need to move something out of the way, ask if it’s okay first. Then, when you’re done, put it back.

Be mindful of what is going on around you, especially if you are photographing kids. You are responsible for what happens during your session, and you never want to pay a big repair bill friendship because you were careless.