Planning a photo shoot - Easy steps for making each shoot a success.
1. Have a clear goal in mind
Straight out of the gate, we want to clearly define how the final product (the collection of edited photos) will help you achieve your marketing or communications goals. Are you launching a big sales campaign, or building brand familiarity and loyalty? Are you redesigning your website, or introducing a new product to market?
With a defined goal in mind, we will make sure the entire creative process is aligned to achieving the outcomes you’re seeking.
2. Invest time in writing a detailed brief
If your photo shoot were a building project, the brief would be the foundation – you’ll usually only catch sight of it during the initial phases, it’s not quite as glamorous as all the final touches, but it’s what holds the final masterpiece together. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with developing a brief. It’s a team effort, and something Avodah will assist with as we move through the creative process together.
The best briefs take into consideration the big picture strategy as well as the nuts and bolts details of the shoot.
The big picture information we want to uncover includes:
- How do you describe your brand personality? Understanding what is unique to your brand will help us think about the photography techniques that will bring the essence of your brand to life
- Which channels the images will be used across (eg. website, social, billboards)
- Who is the target audience, and what do we know about what will influence and motivate them?
The finer details to cover off include:
- Date and location of the photo shoot
- A shot list (an outline of the photos we need to capture)
- The people (we call them the ‘talent’) and props needed
3. Scouting the right location
Location, location, location! It’s one of the most critical factors for any photo shoot.
First, describe what style of location you’re looking for; bright and colourful, dark and moody, wide open spaces or inside the workplace? Or it might be a studio shoot, for product or headshot photos.
Next, we want to consider how to capture the best possible light to align with your brand and how the location will influence this. Will the softness of sunrise, or the warm light of sunset help tell your brand story? Or do we need to think about when the sun will be in the best position to get the brightest light?
The final step is working out what possible challenges the location might introduce.
- How busy is the area? Could people or vehicle traffic be disruptive during the shoot?
- How long will it take us to get from the car to the shooting location?
- What type of terrain will we be dealing with? Are there puddles, rocks or buildings that will affect where we can shoot from?
- What are our Plan B or Plan C locations, in case we need to move on the day?
4. Getting your people (the ‘talent’) ready
Our team at Avodah are experts in making people feel comfortable in front of the camera. Whether they’re as shy as a mouse or a bit of a show pony, we work hard to create a comfortable environment that will help get the best from your talent.
There are a few ways you can help us get your colleagues or other talent ready so that we hit the ground running on the day.
- Explain to them the objectives of the photo shoot and how the photos will be used
- Give them a date, time and place to arrive, as well as an estimate of how long the shoot will take
- Make sure they know what to wear
5. Prepare a photoshoot runsheet or schedule
We like to keep on our toes on shoot day – always ready to adjust for a rogue rain shower or any other unpredictable change that comes our way. However, having a clear understanding of ‘Plan A’ is still important for a successful shoot.
The photoshoot schedule should clearly outline what time each person is expected to arrive, how long they’re needed for and how much time is allocated for each location or scene.
Allowing enough time at the start of the shoot for location scouting, talent prep and equipment set-up is something the Avodah team will offer guidance on. Leaving ample time to get everything ready is an investment that will pay off later in the day!