Good locations are hard to find… one trick is to look locally, we found this local bar and made a deal with the owner that we could use the location before they opened one day and all we had to do was provide him with a couple final images he could use for marketing the bar.
Look locally and barter skills for location fees. But beware that in many cases you the photographer is liable for damages and injury when on scene at a location. Many of us get away with no issues daily but make sure if you are running your own business and using locations that you carry the proper insurance or at least know what issues you open yourself up too when shooting on location.
I have many forms that models need to sign, Model Release – Liability Release – Copy of ID – Permission to use Pictures and a Property Release for the location owner to sign that shows how the area will be used.
Sometimes the best investment in your photography business and career might be a consultation with an experienced photography / media lawyer to make sure you paperwork is in order in your particular state (remember they are all different) here is California, I could fill out all the paperwork in the world and will still get sued.