5 Ways to a Better Photo Shoot

If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail –Mark Spitz

To ensure that your client has a successful photo shoot, there are many variables that should be planned ahead of time to avoid any time delays or potential mishaps. Below are 5 ways to prepare for a better photo shoot.

Decide on the nature of the photo shoot ahead of time

Check with your subjects or clients to gain information as to the nature of the photo shoot. What will be the subject matter of the photo shoot be — will it be a portrait, marketing campaign, ads? What are the client’s expectations? The more information you can glean from the client will go a long way to ensuring a successful shoot.

Decide on the location for the photo shoot ahead of time

Once you have gained the information you need on the nature of the shoot, you can then look into different locations that will be best for it. Check into both indoor and outdoor locations. Keep in mind that by avoiding artificial lighting will cut down on expense to the client. Natural lighting is free and can enhance the shoot. After you’ve checked out a few locations, make your recommendations to the client, along with why or why not you would recommend your final choice.

Create a shooting area if the shoot will be interior

A backdrop for portraits or staged shots can easily be accomplished by using a sheet of canvas, linen or muslin, or by utilizing a bare wall. You’ll want to select carefully; busy backgrounds or objects can draw attention away from the subject. Walls can oftentimes have a unique texture that will add simple depth-of-field considerations.

Low-traffic areas are best when shooting outdoors.

Get feedback from the clients as to their choices of locations; however, take it one step further and inquire as to why it is significant to them to use that specific location. This information can then be used to narrow down to the most suitable location. Low-traffic areas will offer far less distractions to have to deal with.

Determine your equipment needs ahead of time

The information you gain from the client is going to be vital in determining the equipment you will need to rent/purchase. Make sure you are proactive in getting the equipment ahead of time to avoid any delays or possibilities of not being able to get it at all. Any camera equipment you rent must be tested for functionality before the shoot — not at the shoot. Testing equipment beforehand will allow you to replace or return any item that does not work.

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