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How to Plan a Photoshoot Like a Pro in 5 Easy Steps

Do you need a photoshoot for yourself or your business but aren’t sure where to start? In this blog post, I will be giving you my tips on how to plan a photoshoot like a pro! You can leave all of this up to your photographer, but if you would like to have more control over the shoot then this post is for you.

For my tips, I will be focussing on commercial-style shoots, such as product and personal branding sessions. However, you could take them and use them for others too. So let's get started, shall we?

1. Create a shot list

Take a look at your socials and website and see which images need improvement, or are there gaps that need filling? Make a note of the sizes you need too, are the images square, landscape, portrait, or a special size for your hero shot? This will all affect how the photograph needs to be taken and styled in order to fit correctly and look amazing.

Having a list will help make sure the time you have with your photographer is used wisely and just makes the day feel a lot more organised. Especially as a flat lay shot needs to be set up completely differently from a close-up.

2. Moodboard to help refine your vision

This in my opinion is one of the funnest parts of planning! Look at Pinterest, magazines, and your competitors to see what style of photography you like and what you think would suit your brand. It’s important to note that we are not copying these shots, just taking inspiration. Is it the lighting, the props, or the layout that you like? You take these aspects and add them to your branding making it unique to you.

Something to keep in mind also is - are there any photographs that you are keeping from previous shoots? Make sure that the style matches or introduce the new style slowly so your site and socials don’t look disjointed. Or you can scrap it all and start with a fresh look, completely up to you!

3. Gather props that are on brand

Props really make an image your own and help to keep harmony between your photographs. Be mindful of the colours and textures, buy items that are your brand colours or ones that compliment them.

Depending on your shoot items that are great to have on hand are; material (example; linen, silk, velvet), vases, flowers/plants, backdrops, books, and candles. Plus more unusual items that will help make your images stand out such as this bust I used for Jessica Alice Jewellery’s images.

4. Sourcing Models

This tip won’t be relevant to every shoot but I thought I would add it as I have been using them more and more lately.

Models are a great way to let your potential clients visualise the product in their life. I am way more likely to buy a lot of items if I can see them on someone or in a home environment.

Models can be sourced using Instagram, maybe one of your friends but if you have a specific look in mind agencies are a great place to look. Although you’re looking at an extra expense and there are more rules in place.

Once you know the style you want I would then start looking as this can take some time, have several options as it’s best to have your plan and brief together before approaching so they know what the job entails.

5. Don’t rush it

The instinct is to try and get as much done as possible but quality over quantity is key. Don’t rush each shot just to tick it off the list, make sure you’re happy before moving on. I always shoot tethered during my product shoots so the client can see what we’re doing to evaluate as we go.

Be realistic about the number of shots you put on your list, or don’t put pressure on yourself to get them all done. Creativity takes time, but if you have put a plan together you are way more likely to get them done than if you didn’t.

I hope that this was helpful and thank you for reading!

Keep dreaming,

Lucy x

If you would like to see more of my work and what I do click here.

Need some inspiration for your personal branding session?


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