The arduous (and expensive) task of finding a perfect location for an upcoming video, film, or photo shoot just got a little bit easier thanks to a new web and iOS app called Shoot Local.

The app was developed by New Haven-based Digital Surgeons, a digital marketing firm that services clients as big as Fortune 50 companies and as small as fledgling Internet startups.

“The idea came when we did quite a bit of photo shoots and video shoots for spots we were shooting for our clients and we were spending a ton of money on location scouting,” said Peter Sena, Founder of Digital Surgeons, “Being the type of company that we are, always trying leverage technology as an enabler, we said to ourselves: ‘shouldn’t this be social?’”

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The app is very simple: a photo taken from the app will have its GPS coordinates automatically ‘stamped’ and uploaded to the Shoot Local servers. Users can add descriptions and tags to help those searching for a specific location. Locations can be searched by keyword or via a map.

The app also speaks to the changing role of creative agencies. Where once creative firms would mostly stick to branding, now they are now writing code and launching products of their own.

“We always knew we had the skillsets from a strategic and a marketing standpoint as well as a technology standpoint to build products,” said David Salinas, CEO of Digital Surgeons, “So it only made sense when we had the opportunity we did so.”

Salinas acknowledges the database is in its infancy and will need some time to build its userbase and photo library. But some film commissions have found the application useful to showcase and organize some of their potential shoot locations. The San Antonio film commission has already cataloged hundreds of locations. Connecticut has started using the tool as well.

“He’s uploaded hundreds of locations in San Antonio, we have the Alamo as a shoot location,” Salinas said. Connecticut has also added the application as a resource.

Shoot local is available for free on the iOS app store.

Connect with Lon:

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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