Photoshoots are a great way to capture a specific idea or look you’ve had in mind. However, executing a successful photoshoot can be challenging. There are many components to a shoot, and it can be difficult to communicate exactly what you are aiming for. It helps to thoroughly plan and organize your shoot ahead of time. When you put effort into planning your execution, you are taking a step further to ensure that your specific vision will come to life. Here’s how to plan and organize a photoshoot to successfully capture your vision.
Find all the expendables you need for your photoshoot at Wits End. Shop Now
Sometimes, a photoshoot begins with an idea that comes into your head. Other times, you may have to search for inspiration. Since the sky is the limit, one of the first challenges to a successful photoshoot is to nail down what exactly you want to portray.
Take some time to gather ideas. Resources for inspiration include:
- Books, movies, or TV shows. You can style your shoot around a specific concept that is already present in pop culture or media.
- A location that instills a certain type of feeling. You may be able to design a story around an inspirational location.
- Client goals. If your photoshoot is for a client or is an aspect to work, determine what is wanted and needed for the session.
Scout Potential Locations
After you’ve nailed down your idea, set out to determine where you will be conducting your photoshoot. You can shoot nearly anywhere, from studios to outdoor parks. Think about what kind of location will provide the look you’re aiming for and find out if you’ll need to get a permit for public places.
As you scout, this is a good time to plan which lighting techniques you’ll need and what other kind of equipment will be necessary. Are you going to be using the available light or creating your own? Do you need specialty lenses or light reflectors? Make a list and include power equipment if there are no power outlets at your chosen location.
Conceptualize Your Vision
Many people put together mood boards to provide an example of the aesthetic they will be trying to capture during their photoshoot. Mood boards are a collection of pictures that showcase your intention and ideas. You can use tools such as Pinterest, which make it easy to share your board with clients or your crew members, so everyone has an idea of what you’re aiming for.
It’s helpful to scout your location first before you begin to visualize your photoshoot. Your location will determine many factors, and it can be very limiting. For example, your mood board shouldn’t include shots with natural sunlight if you know you will be shooting indoors—unless you have the equipment to replicate that sunlight.
Photoshoots require a team effort. Whether you’re working on a concept shoot or commercial shoot, you’ll need models so your vision comes to life. Depending on the situation, you can find models through:
- Talent or modeling agencies
- On social media, either individually or through meetup groups
- Sending out a model call to your network or client base
Once you have hired models, make sure you provide them information about your plan and vision. Always give them a model release—a legal document that allows you to publish the model’s image.
Put Together a Team
Your successful photoshoot may involve more people than just you and a handful of models. You may need assistants and will likely need hair and makeup stylists as well as other crew members.
As with models, reach out through your network and look at professionals’ portfolios. You might have people you worked with in the past who you can contact again. Once you’ve put together a team, each person will provide valuable skills and insight in their field of expertise.
Create Call Sheets
Once you have gotten your team together and have finalized the details, it’s time to officially plan out the photoshoot and create a call sheet. Call sheets will provide necessary information for your crew, so everyone is on the same page about the shoot. Call sheets should include:
- The time and date of the photoshoot
- The shoot’s concept
- The location and details such as parking or access
- The responsibilities of each person involved, as well as their contact information
- A detailed schedule
- Special notes or instructions
Attach your mood board so that everyone has access to it. Send out the call sheet to everyone in advance, so people have time to take a look and ask any questions.
Take Care of the Small Details
As you plan your photoshoot, small details will crop up. Your crew will appreciate it if these details are taken care of beforehand—and this makes your photoshoot run smoothly. For example, if parking is difficult, let your crew know it’s best to carpool. If you know the photoshoot will run for several hours or even take all day, it’s respectful to provide food for everyone. Make sure to include breaks in the schedule as well.
Having an emergency kit with you also helps. Put together a bag that has items for your crew and their equipment. Include things such as sunscreen, bandaids, aspirin, clamps, electrical tape, and extra batteries.
After you successfully complete your photoshoot, use these steps again to plan and organize the next one. The best way to nail down your process and manage efficient shoots each time is to keep doing them. By making sure you have all the necessary equipment on hand, scouting your location beforehand, and taking care of details for your team, you can conduct a safe and successful photoshoot.
To prepare for your next photoshoot, find all of the equipment and expendables you need at Wits End! Shop Now