Location Scouting with John Alflatt

John Alflatt has been working in photography for many years having started out as a photographic assistant, transitioned through shooting while picking up a few AOP awards along the way before moving into locations and production over twenty years ago.

Locations and the detailed planning required to get a crew in and out successfully while being able to support the creative team in any eventuality are key to most commercial photography.

Whether it’s a listed building, a factory, an exclusive home or a road on the side of a hill, the entire team on a shoot needs to be able to function at their best; good locations combined with good production are at the heart of the creative process.

Written and contributed by / John Alflatt / 07989 500 990 / johnalflatt@gmail.com  / @jauk2015

Here he shares some examples of work by AOP members that he has scouted for:

Working With Alex Howe

Unusually, Alex was working on an editorial brief, with a very low budget. However, it gave us the freedom to source some of the greatest Brutalist architecture in the UK as locations for Alex to shoot a series iconic automotive images.

© Alex Howe

A secure yet versatile location to shoot a (then) embargoed product was the brief for this Honda Civic R shoot. Alex produced multiple images over several days using every corner of this location inside and out.

© Alex Howe

Working with Kate Abbey

Providing multiple locations for Kate to shoot images for the launch of the London Hard Rock Hotel included landmarks, generic shopping streets as well as a curated route on an open top bus to provide views of several London attractions.

© Kate Abbey

Hard to believe that this image was shot on one of the windiest days I’ve worked in London between torrential rain squalls! Kate’s shoot for Uber involved a couple of locations where a selection of cars with cast could be shot in business and leisure-based scenarios.

© Kate Abbey

Working With Richard Wadey

Sourcing locations for Richard to shoot ‘Hands that Hustle’ for The Body Shop involved securing a series of real-life working locations accessible for London cast including a bakery, motor mechanics, boat builder and gardener. Logistics to ensure that 2 locations a day could be shot.

© Richard Wadey

There were two key requirements for Richard on this project for the NHS. The location had to provide four distinct areas for various activities with a very normal lived in feel while offering space and a large garden to be able to safely manage COVID risks with elderly cast shortly after coming out of lockdown.

© Richard Wadey

Working With Oli Hillyer-Riley

Oli had to manage a very heavy workload of stills and motion clips on a shoot for Intersport. Valencia was chosen not only for a level of weather guarantee but also for the wide variety of locations including graphic urban bridges and underpasses, flights of stairs, beaches, a running track and urban park trails. Pretty much nonstop from dawn to dusk but the chosen city enabled a wide variety of backgrounds to be included in a very tight schedule.

© Oli Hillyer-Riley

Working With Leon Hargreaves

The choice of location for this Hyundai Santa Fe shoot was governed by transport logistics and availability of product with Scotland offering stunning locations, within the vehicle’s availability window. Graphic shapes formed by the hills and roads combined with Leon’s determination and preparedness when the light arrived made a success of the choice.

© Leon Hargreaves

We researched weather, costs, travel time and logistics, conflicting events as well as availability of the variety of locations the client required in eight regions before choosing Mallorca for this Hyundai Santa Fe ‘Bradley Wiggins’ edition shoot. The island provided Leon with architecture, mountain passes, winding roads and dynamic views in addition to local cycling clubs and a reasonable chance of good weather.

© Leon Hargreaves

Working With John Higginson

This shoot for Rolls Royce combined locations both in Spain and France. The search for a ‘villa’ during the summer season that could portray the right emotions to a prospective Rolls Royce purchaser was extreme! Here, John used his years of experience to shoot an embargo product (at the time) at a secure location and Pierre Cardin’s house added the hint of luxury and exclusivity required.

© John Higgonson

This shot was arranged at the exterior of the main reception of an exclusive hotel. The location had to be a venue potentially recognisable to someone who might purchase the car as well as portraying a feel of exclusivity and design to anyone viewing the image. John’s clockwork like precision in applying the information gained on the tech recce enabled the shoot to take place within the allowed time frame without disrupting guests or interrupting hotel operations.

© John Higginson

AOP Photography Awards

The AOP Photography Awards are known as the ‘Oscars’ of the photography world. They celebrate excellence in the creative photography and image-making industry.
This is your chance to be seen by leading commissioners and names within the photographic industry. Our 38th AOP Awards finalists are now revealed…