How to prepare for a fantastic photoshoot

How to prepare for a fantastic photoshoot

Everything you need to know about preparing for a Holidaygrapher photoshoot- A photographer’s guide

A man preparing his camera for photoshoot

A good photoshoot depends on the amount of work put in during the planning process. Planning for a photoshoot begins way before the day of the actual shoot and you can never be over-prepared. Effective planning can save you a lot of effort in selecting equipment and getting all the little elements in place for a smooth shoot. So whether you are a professional or a seasonal photographer, here are our tips on how you can streamline your planning process and prepare for a photo shoot with ease. 

For the day before

Connect with your client

Communication with the client is the most important criterion for a successful shoot. Connecting with the client on a quick call or email before the shoot helps in understanding what they want in terms of delivery. We recommend doing this a day or two before the day of the actual shoot for mutual understanding. At Holidaygrapher, we have two prep calls before the shoot for a more clear brief and maximum satisfaction. You can read about the process right here.

Prepare your equipment

Before a shoot, it is important to get your shooting equipment in place. Depending on the kind of shoot you are going for, you may pack a couple of lenses like a 50mm portrait lens, or a 70- 200mm wide-angle lens to best fit the client’s brief. Don’t forget to clean your lenses and lens caps as well. Additionally, keep a checklist of all the other things you would need for a successful shoot, like external flashes, light sources, etc, and pack it all together. 

Charge batteries, Empty Memory Cards

We always remember to charge our camera batteries the night before the shoot, but often forget about clearing out the memory card to make as much space as possible. Especially if you are shooting raw, a memory card that’s not formatted will lead to a shortage of space, and that’s an absolute no-no. Also, pack a spare battery and a few extra memory cards for a hassle-free shoot.

Visualize the client's Brief

Once you have a clear understanding of the client’s desires, you must take some time to visualize how you would execute the shoot. Think of the various shots you could take on the location, and how you would build their story through a couple of shots. Creating mood boards also help in mapping out a rough skeleton of the shoot. It’s impossible to plan out the entire shoot because of unpredictability but you can minimize the risks by planning. 

Alternately you can catch up on photography blogs to look for fresh ideas to incorporate into the shoot. You can check out this nifty list with some great photography blogs to get inspired from.

Look for poses

Lady in a white dress posing in Bombay

Quite a lot of clients struggle with posing for photographs, and as a photographer, you need to do your best to make them comfortable and guide them in the process. Working on poses need not be guesswork. You can look up the work of other photographers to get some inspiration for your shoot. We also have a super helpful blog on our site that lists out a couple of tricks and tips to make posing effortless. 

Finally, Be well rested

We cannot emphasize this enough. You can plan all you want and fret the night away, but not getting enough rest can impair your decision-making skills. So try to get a good rest before you leave for the shoot.

On the day of the Shoot

Arrive 15 minutes early and Understand your location

Arriving early at the location has its perks. You can set up your equipment well before the clients arrive. You also get the buffer to check out the location and understand which spots are best photographed. Outdoor shoots require some amount of background context to be included in the photographs. You can have a couple of test shots to see how location photographs.

We have written a full-length blog on how to find the best location for your photographs. You can access it here.

Check Camera Settings

Always remember to reset your camera settings to neutral before you begin shooting. This will help prevent surprises like overexposed or underexposed photographs or pictures not focused well. And don’t forget to shoot raw to aid the postprocessing efforts later. Future you will be thankful. 

Communicate with the Client

Needless to say, The more comfortable the client is around you, the more beautiful the pictures turn out. Keep the communication going throughout the shoot, guiding them about poses and showing them the pictures from the camera to get them excited. After all, it is supposed to be a fun experience for both parties. 

Keep Calm and Have Fun

Two women having a fun photoshoot in Charminar

Lastly, Don’t forget to have fun. Keep the energy up throughout the shoot. When your clients are comfortable and having fun, you can also score some great candids. And it will also be a pleasant experience for both of you. That’s a win-win in our books.

How you conduct a photoshoot is very personal to you. Every photographer has a style that makes them different from the lot. While your planning process might include a couple more or fewer steps, this handy guide will help you break down the basics of the preparation stage. Remember, good planning is key to a successful shoot.

Have fun capturing it! 



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