Location, Location, Location! Mastering On-Location Video Production Services

Location, Location, Location! Mastering On-Location Video Production Services

There’s a term that is dreaded all throughout the realm of video production, videography and cinematography… Any videographer or cinematographer worth their salt would be terrified to hear it… and that term is, “White Walls”. This term is used when the background of a video or film is, well, excruciatingly boring! No pizzazz, no visual stimulus, nothing but plain white walls. This unfortunate and far-too-common phenomenon services no one, and occurs for a number of reasons. One such reason could be a lack of creativity on the part of the videographer or filmmaker. Another reason could simply be a lack of access to a more visually stimulating location. In any case, only one thing becomes crystal clear when seeing these baffling videos: LOCATION MATTERS!

I’m Toronto Cameraman, a 30-year veteran videographer with tons of experience offering video production services, and today I’ll guide your ride through on-location video production services. We’ll establish a shared understanding of what “on-location” actually means, explore practical tips for making any location work on video, and more– so strap in!


What does it mean to be “on-location”? I like to use a simple trick to figure that out: are we physically in, at or on the location that the viewer should believe we are at? For example, if the supposed location of your video is Niagara Falls, but you’re shooting your video on a green screen, then it’s not on-location. The same applies for sets built within a studio.

Pssst! Click here for my expert tips on how to light your green screen to make your video productions look just as good as if they were on location!


On-location video production comes with its own laundry list of pros and cons. Trust me when I tell you that no single format is perfect. On-location video will have you longing for the comfort of a studio shoot, and a studio shoot will always feel more limiting in ways than on-location video productions. In the end, it comes down to whatever services the video production’s needs. 


Weather is an inevitable factor of on-location video production. Where studio video productions will always provide a roof over your head, on-location video is far less welcoming. Be prepared with rain gear for yourself (and inform any assisting crew to do the same) as well as any equipment that may need rain protection. Very rarely will a video production be “rained out”, so a videographer must always be prepared to combat the elements. The same rules apply to snow and sun– be ready with hydration, sunscreen and anything else that will help protect you and your gear against the elements.


When performing on-location video production services, a videographer must understand the ambient light situation of the environment. Ambient light is the light emitting naturally on-location, versus the artificial light brought in by the videographer or video production team. When analyzing the light, ask yourself a few questions. Is there enough light to properly expose my subject on video? Is the light too harsh on my subject’s face? Can I and should I alter the lighting situation with bounces, diffusions or negative fills? Take all the answers of these questions into account and make informed decisions based on the requirements of your video production. Remember that what looks good to the human eye might not look the same on video.


The oft-forgot silent killer of on-location video production can sneak up on anyone: hard outs. A hard out is when the owner of the location has given a specific time for when the video production team is essentially kicked out of the location. The important thing to remember is this: find out as early as possible how much time you have in that location. Sometimes owners will not mention anything until later on in your video production, leaving you ill-prepared for last-minute adjustments. Find out your hard out and then manage your time accordingly. Don’t be afraid to adapt, combine shots, or even scrap some altogether in the name of being on time. To be a professional, a videographer cannot burn bridges with locations. Remember that you are a provider of services, and therefore must conduct yourself professionally even when it makes your video production more challenging to pull off.

The challenge is part of the fun!


The feet of this videographer are firmly planted in Toronto! For any on-location video production services you need, why look anywhere else? Toronto Cameraman will be your eyes– on-location, in studio, in the sky– whatever you need for your video production, I can achieve it.   Reach out to me at info@torontocameramanservices.com, and discover what’s possible with just an idea. Before you know it, you could be on-location with me, watching your vision unfold into a vivid reality. Toronto Cameraman is here to provide any and all video services you could want– your idea is the only missing piece required.