Ways To Plan For A Photoshoot
Whether you're a professional, part-time or complete hobbiest having butterflies before a shoot (no matter how small a job - even if in your bedroom) is completely normal but there are some ways to help minimise those feelings of anxiety and it includes preparation. Having confidence in the fact you've organised your necessities before hand can go a long way. As someone who has done both corporate, small business and personal jobs - here's how I prepare for photography work. Do you have any routines you must do before you start your work?
Charge Your Equipment
It may seem like one of the most basic ideas however we've all had those moments where the battery dies or your memory card is magically full even though this is a hassle but easier to remedy when you're at home doing your own thing but when a company hires you they expect some professionalism. The night before the checklist should include making sure you have all the relevant equipment is charged, empty, packed and ready to go. it takes away part of the morning rush as your bag is by the door, in my bag I have:
#01 || Camera
#02 || Battery (I need to invest in a spare battery)
#03 || Battery charger
#04 || Tripod
#05 || 2x Memory cards
#06 || Big Lens, as well as my usual, standard lens
#07 || Notepad & pen
#08 || Water & snacks (but not just sweets)
#09 || Example of moodboard, research & possible shots
#10 || Props, if needed
Remind Yourself Of The Brief & Your Moodboard
Whether you're working with brands or creating content for yourself it's important to be relevant and not go off topic.To remind yourself and help get in the zone, I always set myself home work in refreshing myself with the brief they set, previous emails, website and social media. it's possible that the intended images have already been discussed but creating a mini moodboard can keep you more focused with the message you're trying to get across i.e. colour, lighting and atmosphere - this can also help plan your shots. Something I do purely for myself (but can help others if you need to direct them) is create an ideas book. In it there's potential blog posts and a whole range of inspirational images that are used for compositional purposes.
Plan Your Outfit
We all know that a good outfit can do wonders for your outlook for the day ahead however there are a few practicalities that need to be negotiated when attempting a shoot. A day of shooting whether you're working for a brand or not can be intense, busy and physically draining so for me here's a little checklist for my outfits:
#01 || Choose neutral colours
#02 || (Preferably) No buttons
#03 || If there is a shirt - wear an under top
#04 || Trousers
#05 || Practical shoes
#06 || Comfort & style
The majority of these are common sense but overtime you'll develop your own style necessities, for example I try 'no buttons' on my outfits after my camera strap caught on a shirt button and let's just say there was more of my chest on show than I'm comfortable with.
Organise Your Props / Subject Matter
Whether you shoot at home or are off to work on location, making sure you have the right props to emphasise the point of your imagery and highlight your great composition is key. For example as a food photographer the smallest of details can make all the difference (for both good and not so great reasons) -the right props can inform your work. This may mean asking the restaurant or company what is readily available and if possible to take a peak or if not then invest in your own set.
DOUBLE CHECK THOSE TRAVEL PLANS
We've all done it, prepared all of the necessities called the taxi / left for the bus / got in the car and some reason it can go all go wrong. The fear of being late is can be a real burden as it can cause us to panic, rush and most of all leave us discombobulated - let alone the fact it can make us look unprofessional even if said reason for lateness was nothing to do with us. I have been brought up in a family where its perfectly acceptable to arrive somewhere an hour early (there have been many mornings spent in car parks waiting for said shop / attraction to open) so being late can make me feel a little sick - to combat this I generally research all transport routes. The cost, timetables and routes, meaning I can often leave myself enough time to hopefully escape most travel related hiccups of course last minute things happen that you can't always factor in but knowing you've organised your other particulars can help elevate those negative feelings and making sure you have your clients contact details so you can keep them abreast of the situation as it unfolds.