Guidelines for Location Hunting

As much fun as it can be to visit locations, it is also important to show respect when visiting. That’s why I wanted to suggest some guidelines for location hunting. Remember that most of these locations are places where people live and work. While most have accepted the fame that goes with these locations, we don’t want to cause any issues while visiting.


The main guideline is an obvious one, don’t trespass. When we visit a business or residential area, it is important to stay on public property. Roads and sidewalks are there for public use, and you can take great pictures from here. However, it is not ok to go on to private property.

One well-known issue was people going to the Brady Bunch house and peeking in the windows, hoping to see the famous staircase. These fans were, of course, disappointed, as the show was filmed on a soundstage, and the house interior bears no resemblance to the set (or… didn’t, until HGTV renovated the house). Because of these fans trespassing, the owners had no choice but to put up a fence around the house.

Occasionally, you may encounter a business or home owner. Be friendly and let them know why you are there. They probably know, but let them know where you are from and that you just want to take a few photos. I have met a few homeowners who have taken the time to talk and share filming stories. Even if they don’t have time to chat, a smile and wave will set their minds at ease.

When visiting a business that was used for interior scenes, don’t go exploring. It is ok to visit the reception desk and let them know why you are visiting. It is up to the staff if they want to allow you in, and if they decline, be polite and respectful. There may be security reasons, and you also don’t want to interfere in the day-to-day operations.


It is important to obey all parking laws. Residential areas may prohibit parking or stopping, or only allow parking during certain times. In addition, make sure you aren’t blocking any driveways. We don’t want to cause any issues to the neighbours, or end up with any pesky parking tickets.

I suggest when researching a location, take a look at the area and plan out the best way to visit. If you don’t think there will be any street parking, search for local parking garages. Some even let you book ahead or provide coupons.

If you are visiting locations in large cities like New York or London, the best way to get around is using public transit. Driving and parking can be such a hassle, so you will enjoy yourself much more by not driving.

Google is a great planning tool, as it includes public transit options. You can put in addresses, and find the best way to get around by bus, train, subway, etc. Many cities also now offer prepaid transit cards to save you time and money when you arrive.

School Guidelines

If you are visiting a school or any location with children, it is especially important to be respectful. My main rule in visiting schools is to go outside of normal hours. Visiting during evenings and weekends is always a better idea.  If you can find an email address or phone number for the school, send them a quick message before visiting to let them know your intentions. Never enter the school facilities unless given permission from the school administrators. All photos should be taken from public areas and sidewalks off school property. In the world we live in, schools need to be very careful about student safety and privacy, and the last thing you want to do is cause any concern.

With these guidelines in mind, you should be able to enjoy your visits to locations without causing any problems for the businesses and residents.

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