Los Angeles Rooftop Location

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by emcdermottphoto, May 18, 2012.

  1. I have been hired for a photo shoot in the Los Angeles area and my clients are requesting to do some rooftop shots with the city skyline in the back ground. Does anyone know of a spot or lcation I could use that is free?
    I am willing to contact rooftop bars, but I thought maybe shooting on a helicopter pad would be really neat!
    Any advise or leads would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. To be honest I don´t know, but my experience is that you can get a lot for free by just asking nicely for it. try a hotel or something similar. My experience is that it´s better to go there and ask than give them a call. Its easier to reject someone on the phone.
    Good luck
  3. Free locations are the kind of thing you develop over time - also keep in mind, not to be inappropriate, but depending on the product you are shooting that will be the only thing in focus, viewers won't likely know if you were on a pad or roof or not.
    The idea of a shot and the reality of a shot are not necessarily the same thing and if a client working on a zero budget does not get that you'll need to educate them. If they want to spend the money to shoot from the Standard or the penthouse at Chateau Marmont then that's great.
    As for an OOF skyline in the background, (once again depending on the product that has to fit between you and the view) that can be accomplished from multiple hill top streets on the east and north sides of downtown- no rooftops required.
    Not that rooftops can't be productive- the old metal scaffold signs are terrific although like everything, once you publish a two shot with the sign OOF behind or at the side that pretty much kills it for using signs. Art directors remember everything that is clever and stands out so once is it.
    Go out in your car and find the views you want at the time of day the light works and storyboard the shots. When you return on the clock for the shoot just drop in the product. You're done in fifteen and you can move to the next setup.
  4. First you will need to decide from what direction the LA Downtown skyline is most pleasing to you.
    Then decide from how far away you will need to shoot. I assume you have a range of lenses to use.
    Then locate some tall structures in the direction and distance that you prefer, and see if there could be suitable shooting space, and you know how much of space you need for you subjects.
    Most tall structures have roof tops locked, and you will need to get a permission from a custodian to open the top area.
    Candidates are tall churches, tall office buildings. top floors of parking structures, etc.
    You could get good view from a freeway overpass, but not nuch freedom to shoot from there.
    Some wild guess suggestions could be: Shoot from Griffifs Observatory, Hollywood Hills, Church towers on Adams Blvd or other streets from higher areas from Glendale, Burbank.
    I suggest you inspect some postcards and see how those pictures look like.
    Longer views with the usual smog (smoke + fog) would not produce the best pictures.
    Once you find out best location, you may need to wait for some windy wheather, or just after rain condition. Something that is not easy to get in the LA during summer time.
    Also consider shooting the background skyline, and subjects in a studio, and add them together ?
  5. Thanks for everyone's feedback - to clarify I am doing an engagement shoot - we are doing some shots at the Los Angeles Art Distrct and would like to wrap up the shoot rooftop to get a images with the high rises immediately in the background. I have seen several rooftop shots online in my search - primarily taken from helipads and I am searching to find out how we can get that same access.
  6. A pretty awesome spot, but I don't think its free is the Oviatt penthouse. You might talk to them and see what you can arrange. Its a big wedding venue and other events are done there. My cousin got married there and it was very cool. Art deco penthouse suite of the James Oviatt which was a watering hole for the Hollywood elite including heavy partiers like Erol Flynn etc. It has a big outdoor area right in the middle of downtown L.A. surrounded by towers. I believe its only about 16 stories or so. Another place in Long beach but with a cool harbor look is the Sky Room in Long Beach where you may be able to get up to the roof. Theres stairs from the Sky Room up to a window area and I'm not sure if you can on the roof there as well. Otherwise you will just have to contact buildings and see what you come up with. For maybe a substitute you could shoot from the top of Angel's flight there's a view there, but probably not quite what your looking for.
    Good luck.
  7. Click on this link for some ideas.

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