1st Option have literally hundreds of high-quality shoot location houses for hire in London. Why do we have so many? When we first started the company 21 years ago, there were only a handful of properties available to hire, in fact we can remember back to a time when there were only really two, Richmond Road (which we still have to this day) and the apartment at the Lanterns Studio in Battersea. The apartment no longer exists as a location for hire but we do have the two houses next door, the fabulous and exclusive Blake House and Lightbox.
When we first started the company we did so because we felt there was a huge need for unique spaces for clients to use for their photo shoots. Up until that point, if a client wanted to organise a shoot for their fashion or beauty story or Ad Campaign, really the only existing option open to them was to book a standard photographic hire studio at places like The Worx or The Lemonade Factory. We saw a gap in the market and 1st Option the location agency was born.
The name ‘1st Option’ was chosen for several reasons. Firstly, it was an established term within our industry - when booking models, photographers, hair & makeup artists, stylists and even studios, clients would have a date in mind and ‘option’ potential members of their crew and their favourite shoot spaces for their preferred dates. If the person or space was available, they’d be given a ‘1st option’ to take up the services, which would be confirmed at some point afterwards when they were ready to go ahead.
This system is still in place today and is used for booking locations too. Secondly, we wanted to and have always worked extremely hard to be a client’s ‘1st option’ to go to when looking for a great shoot location, lastly it’s a pretty catchy name and easy to remember!
Once our company was set up, we actively went in search of great location properties, both residential and commercial, that would be large enough, bright enough and versatile enough to accommodate crews looking to do shoots in somewhere a little more unique. We knew that not every property we saw would work, some were either too small or just too impractical for a photographic crew to be able to effectively function in, in time though we were able to put together a fantastic selection that began to appeal more and more to discerning clients working in the London area and beyond.
Over the years, the trend for shooting ‘on location’ has grown and grown to the point where nowadays the majority of photographic shoots are done in houses and commercial properties that are used for location hire. Over that time too, more location agencies have sprung up to jump on the bandwagon and the result is that there are now more locations available to hire than ever before. At 1st Option though, we still like to think that were not only the original but are still your 1st and best option when looking to book a shoot location in London and beyond.