How to Plan for an Effective and Efficient Photo Shoot Pt. 1
Planning for photo shoots can be stressful at times, but not if you’re well prepared! When it comes to posting photos on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms, your followers don’t think about the process that takes place behind the scenes in planning for your photo shoot, but instead see the end product. Prior to starting my business and following other accounts such as fashion bloggers or models, I only saw the beautiful, creative, and inspirational photos that were showcased to the world and didn’t ask myself, “How much time and preparation did she put into planning these outfits?” Now, as an official business owner, my perspective has changed because I’m now in the position to showcase product and build my brand. Instead of just following, I must create, prepare, and build. A lot of work takes place behind the scenes from what you view on Instagram and other social media platforms. Don’t get me wrong, I love hard work! In fact, I work really hard on a daily basis to build what you see as More Than Your Average. At the end of each day, I’ve started noting “small wins of the day” to track my overall progress along with personal growth. My goal in highlighting this blog post is to give you a behind-the-scenes look and help you learn from my mistakes! Whether you’re an entrepreneur like myself or just enjoy taking photos for the heck of it, I think we could all benefit from making sure we’re well prepared when it comes to placing ourselves in front of the camera!
I’ve outlined some of my best tips below based on what I’ve personally experienced as I continue to learn as an entrepreneur. These tips are based on what I’ve considered helpful for myself and what I’ve put into place in moving forward with monthly shoots.
Tips on How to Plan for a Photo Shoot
1. Determine if your photo shoot will be individual or group.
Often, the photo shoots for my business involve taking photos by myself and also in a group (at least 2-3 additional models). If you are shooting by yourself, this experience and set up will look differently than shooting with a group of models. This difference may change the expectations from your photographer, preparation process, and overall the layout of your entire shoot. Not only will you have to take into account the outfits you plan for yourself, but also the outfits you’ve chosen for the entire group. For both directions, you will need to give yourself plenty of time to plan, but if you’re planning for a group shoot, give yourself at least a full month of preparation. For an individual shoot, you will need to plan out at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your shoot date. For this blog post, I will specifically reference preparation tips for yourself. Once you’ve determined either way, you can move forward with noting tip #2.
2. Determine shoot location.
It’s important that you’ve predetermined where your photo shoot will take place, prior to knowing the when. The location of your photo shoot will affect the clothing pieces you choose to showcase, access/permissions you have to that location, and also what you communicate to your photographer. It’s important that you choose a location in which you have easy access and can utilize. For myself, I choose locations based on my access to them, in case I need to use a restroom, changing space, or additional resources. I’ve heard some bloggers utilize their cars for changing and that’s something I’ve tried myself, but that always doesn’t work based on the clothing pieces you choose to shoot. Once you have your location predetermined, then you can communicate this information to the photographer when selecting a hard date.
3. Select a hard date for photo shoot.
Just like determining a shoot location, you have to plan when your photo shoot to take place. This piece of the planning process is very important because you’re not only planning for yourself, but you also have to take into account the schedule of the photographer. I can attest there have been times where I’ve set a date (in my mind) of when I wanted a photo shoot to take place and that date didn’t work out for the photographer’s schedule. It’s best to send the photographer a couple of dates in advance in order to determine which date(s) will work best for both schedules. After you’ve communicated and have a date narrowed down, you then can move forward and note that date on your calendar. Note: It’s bad practice to cancel a photo shoot once you and your photographer have narrowed down a date, unless it’s an emergency or if there is inclement weather. When you confirm a date with your photographer, stick to it!
4. Determine the theme of your photo shoot.
It’s important to go into any photo shoot with purpose and by purpose, I mean a theme! Themes can make outfit preparation a little easier because you know what you’re looking for when it comes to selecting the perfect pieces for your shoot. If you’re planning a Spring inspired shoot, you may think about pulling floral, bright, striped, or solid colored statement pieces. If you’re planning a Fall inspired shoot, you may think about pulling olive green, burnt orange, or additional Fall inspired pieces. When selecting the theme of your shoot, ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve?” If my goal is to sale Spring inspired clothing, I will select the the theme based solely on the product I plan to market to my customers.
5. Begin to pull inspired pieces based on theme.
This is by far one of my favorite parts of preparing for a photo shoot! Once I have my theme selected, I then search through my inventory for theme-inspired pieces. If I’m going for a Spring inspired shoot, I search for bright and floral inspired pieces throughout my inventory to compliment my theme. If you’re shooting in a group, keep in mind that this process will take much longer because you’re selecting pieces based on various sizes and preference of style. At this point, you would have already communicated with your photographer on the number of outfits you will be shooting which makes the selection process a little easier. If you have trouble, go for the pieces that are the most unique, bright (will pull better in photos), and festive out of your entire selection.
While these tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning for a photo shoot, Part 2 will be coming your way soon! For now, think about taking into account these tips as you begin your planning process. As mentioned, I didn’t know where to begin prior to officially launching my business, but now I’m familiar with a few tricks of the trade that I hope make your planning process smooth sailing!