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Planning Your Photoshoot

There are many moving parts to a photoshoot. To get the most out of your shoot, it’s important to plan each detail in advance, and yet something (or maybe several things) will not go to plan. By taking the time to plan and think through every detail, you’ll be able to create photos that are much more aligned with your brand and achieve the desired results.

Communication is Essential

When you have a clear idea of what you want from your photoshoot, it’s much easier to communicate your vision to everyone - your colleagues in marketing, your stakeholders, the photographer, the talent and all team members involved. Work to get everyone will be on the same page so you are working towards a common goal and there are no surprises. If you don’t take the time to plan, you may end up with photos that don’t reflect your brand or meet expectations.

Communicate clearly with all involved parties on the date of the photoshoot so things run smoothly – where to be, when to show up, who will be there, what’s expected of them (don’t forget to tell the models what they should be doing when they aren’t being photographed), will there be food served?

Precise Planning

If you don’t plan your shoot properly, things can quickly start going wrong. From forgetting important details (i.e., props, brand colors, etc.) to not being able to find the the right location to timing, these kinds of mistakes can end up costing both time and money. By thinking through every small detail in advance, you will avoid stressful and costly situations.

Planning each detail of the photoshoot, gives you more control over how the final photos turn out. This is because you’ll be able to choose the right talent, scout locations in advance, and select the outfits that best represent your brand. If you leave everything up to chance, you may not be happy with the end result.

Scout the locations beforehand

You and the photographer go to the location and talk through the images being taken. Will the photographer have lights and other equipment? Is there an outlet for him to plug into?

While you are going through the planning stage, it may feel like, “let’s get on with it.” But all the prep work will save time and headaches later, not to mention wasted dollars. This is because you won’t have to waste time dealing with last-minute problems or making changes on the fly. By thinking through everything in the planning stage, and taking care of the details in advance, you can avoid stressful and costly situations.

Create an authentic shoot people related to

One of the benefits of planning your photoshoot is that it allows you to create a more authentic set of photos that represents your brand accurately and relate to your prospects and customers. This is because you are thinking through every aspect of the shoot, from the talent involved to the location selected. If authenticity is important to your brand, then planning is essential.

Most Marketers have to use or at least supplement with stock photography. But by getting as many photos out of your photoshoot, you are bulking up your library and differentiating from your competition.

Get more value from your photoshoots

When you plan your photoshoot in advance, you can also get more variety in your photos by incorporating different looks, backgrounds (i.e., turn the camera to the left, then to the right and the background could be significantly different), and poses into the mix. This way, you’ll have a variety of photos to choose from instead of just a few options.

Also, get as many dimensions from the photos as you can. Where will you be using these photos? Instagram? Know the image sizes that work for Instagram. Your website as a hero banner? Know what photos work best in that space? Do you need photos that allow you to add text on the right or the left? Do you need photos that work best horizontal or vertical? Think through where the photo needs to go in the end, so you are taking photos that will work for those spaces. And if you don’t know, cover your bases by getting a variety from the photographer.

Expect things to go wrong – and plan accordingly

Even with all of your planning, things will inevitably go wrong. I’ve had photoshoots cancelled the morning of because something went wrong with the location. Because I had everyone’s phone numbers handy, I was able to immediately call and text everyone to let them know it had been cancelled. I’ve had a model cry in front of the photographer because the situation brought up past memories that overwhelmed her. I’ve had all of my talent call in sick the day before – except one person. And I had a back-up talent, who was able to come in at the last minute. Things will go NOT according to plan, but with strong communication and attention to details, you’ll be able to more effectively get over the hurdles.


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