Organising a photoshoot sounds like a big project, and it is!
There are some many things to plan, organise, people involved… and I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, lots of things that can go wrong! Believe me, I have been there. I went through all the possible mistakes!
That is why I thought I could write down the basic steps to organise a photoshoot so you will have a better idea of what you need to think about and plan.
Grab pen and paper, and let’s start!
Defying the type of shoot you are planning
Which type of shoot are you doing? Are models involved? Is it of your products?
There are lots of questions to be ask first, and this will serve you as a guide for your shoot, to know what budget you need and also find your perfect team. Think about:
- Type of shoot ( models, product, street style, …)
- Location of the shoot
- Duration of the shoot: is 1 day shoot, 2 days? A week?
- Do you need a team for your shoot?
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Put some ideas together
Having a brief and images will help you not only to have a clear idea of what you are after, also to communicate it to your team. When it comes to find visual references, I jump straight into Pinterest. You just have to type what you are looking for and lots of images will appear. Create boards and pin images that represent your ideas. I also would suggest to look at your competition, see what they are doing and also at the market: see what is going on in your niche.
Plan a smart budget
If you have limited budget, be smart and invest on what you really need.
Cut out on other parts that they may not be that essential. I would suggest invest more on your team than on your props: you can get the most beautiful table, but if you don't have a good stylist to style it or a good photographer to capture it there is no much point.
Be aware of which budget you are working with. Be realistic about your expectations. If you aren't getting professionals for your photoshoot, you may not get a professional result.
Tip: Keep a bit of extra money as a margin for those annoying last minute changes. Example: you need to pay for a taxi due to a train cancellation, etc.
Get your trusted team
This is a very important part of the process: find the right people who understand your project, that fit into your budget and that you have a good feeling about them.
Check their portfolios, reviews on their website, testimonials... Ask around to your friends. Research, find them on instagram and check their website. Don't hesitate to contact them and ask about their prices.
Tip: Most creatives offer tailored services to each project. Before asking for a day rate, think about giving some more information when enquiring for a job: the type of shoot, the length of the shoot - remember the list above?- , usage of the images... even if you have a clear budget, just say it.
People will appreciate if you are upfront and will be more keen to work with your budget.
If they are out of your budget, just say it and thank them for their time.
Set up the details
- Location: plan where the shoot will take place. It can be in a studio* or location. If it is outdoors, I recommend you to go there before the shoot and check when is the best light, the accessibility, the weather forecast for the shoot day... Sometimes scouting locations is part of a service that an art director or photographer can offer.
- Set up dates and work policy: make clear when the shoot is happening, location, times, contact details. Put a call sheet together and send it to the whole crew. Remember to get diets covered and drinks as well.