How to Run a Successful Photoshoot

A photoshoot is a great way to capture some beautiful moments and tell a story through stills. What you might not realize is just how time consuming it can be. Between brainstorming, creating a photo brief, hiring a photographer, drafting a list of props, getting those props, setting up the scene and hiring models, there’s no shortage of things to do and prepare. And all that’s before your photographer even begins snapping the pics.

No sweat! We’ve got you covered with our 10 step guide to planning the perfect photoshoot.

1. Have a vision:

Every successful photoshoot begins with a clear vision. Imagine what you want your photos to look like. You can find many photos on the internet for inspiration. One of the best resources is Pinterest. Dedicating a Pinterest board specifically for your photo shoot is a good place to start. You can collect inspiration images over a period of time and then add them to your photo brief. The vision is not about deciding on a theme or what the models should be doing in the photos, but rather, it helps you decide how you want the consumers of your pictures to feel when they view those pictures.

2. Hire or collaborate with a professional photographer:

Hiring or collaborating with the right person for the job is the second step. You want to hire someone who understands your vision and can execute the brief efficiently and accurately. But remember, hiring the right photographer shouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket. If you don’t find one that fits, don’t be disappointed, there’s always options! In the case of a less experienced photographer, you may need to communicate your vision more clearly and be more involved in the photoshoot. Or you might be surprised. Someone less experienced might be more willing to experiment and the results might amaze you.

3. Hire or collaborate with models:

When seeking out models, you want to ensure that they fall in line with your vision. Does your brand speak to moms, health buffs, foodies or fashionistas? You want to find models that match the theme of your shoot and of course, fit your budget. You may need to work around their schedule or they may have to work around yours. Look at some of their past work, and ask for references. If they check off all of the above, then hire them. If your budget is restrictive, you can hire newcomers to the modeling industry. They may be looking to expand their portfolio so it can be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

4. Find an appropriate venue:

The backdrop for your photos helps to tie in the theme seamlessly. Ideally, you should look for a well-lit location, consider the decor and make sure all the props you need to make the image come to life are handy and available. If you have some knowledge of photography, then you might be able to tell if the location is a good fit for the photoshoot but in case you don’t, ask your photographer for recommendations.

5. Create a schedule and stick to it:

Ask everyone for their availability before you decide on the shoot date, time and venue. After you figure out everyone’s availability, create a shoot schedule, and send it to the models and photographer. As much as possible, try to stick to the schedule so you are being respectful of everyone’s time.

6. Make a list of props you’ll need:

What’s a photoshoot without props? Look at the inspiration photos and identify all the props you need for the shoot. Everything from the plate you will place food on, to the food itself, bags the models will be carrying and water bottles. Remember not to overdo it with props though. If you’re featuring a product, you don’t want it to get lost in the noise. Additionally, check out the venue and see if you actually need those things before you go prop shopping. And finally, check with co-workers. They might have some of the props you need for the shoot. This will free up some cash so you can grab lunch after the shoot 😉

7. Create a photoshoot brief:

A photoshoot brief is a document containing all the important details of the shoot, such as the location, time and name of the client the photoshoot is for. It’s a document but we recommend treating it like a storyboard. A photoshoot brief should contain the themes you want to capture through your photos, the various scenes as well as inspiration photos for each theme. This is where those pictures you’ve collected on Pinterest come in handy. Add them to your photo brief. A photo brief should operate as a guide for the photographer and models, so the lines of communication are open.

8. Brief the photographer and the models:

Send the photo brief to the models and the photographer ahead of time, preferably a week in advanced, so that they are aware of the expectations at the shoot. This would ensure optimal performance on shoot day. Once the big day arrives and before you begin shooting, take a few moments to walk through the brief, the various scenes you will be shooting and answer any questions or concerns.

9. Photoshoot day

The day has arrived and everyone is excited! If you are setting up the scenes and props, be sure to arrive 20 -30 minutes earlier. It’s best to have the first scene ready before anyone else arrives. Once you brief the team upon arrival, they will be able to begin snapping pretty pictures. As they do that, you can get the next scene set up with all the right props.

In addition, print out the brief and have it on hand so that you can refer to it during the shoot. It would be unfortunate not to have some shots taken when you put that much work into organizing a photoshoot. Lastly, make sure that everyone sticks to the schedule. An extra hour or two can impact the budget, especially if you’re paying everyone by the hour.

10. Behind-the-scenes

Photoshoots are a great place to create added content. Treat it as a photoshoot within a photoshoot. Give your social media followers a behind-the-scenes sneak peek into the shoot. You could capture wardrobe, props, the set up, as well as action shots of the photographer and models. This will get your audience excited for the upcoming original photos/video.

If you’re planning a photoshoot for your brand be sure to connect with us!







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