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How to plan a Photoshoot


 min read

How to plan a photoshoot

Wondering how to plan out a photoshoot? We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide, from ideation to creation to pulling off the magic on the day.

1. Brief

Every good photo shoot starts with a good brief. So make sure – whether you’re writing the brief, or interpreting the client’s brief – you’re clear on the outcomes that you need to achieve. And to add it all to your Call Sheet when the time comes.Don’t be afraid to interrogate the brief and find out:

  • What’s the objective?
  • What do we need to communicate?
  • What do we want the audience to feel?
  • What’s the action we want the audience to take?
  • What are the specifications? How many shots do we need to achieve, and what formats and channels (i.e. digital, print, social media) will they be required in?
  • When are these photographs going to be in market, and in which markets?

2. Concept

You’ve probably heard the phrase: ‘Show me, don’t tell me’. Make your concept as visual as it can be, whether that’s a mock-up or a mood board of what you’re trying to achieve.

When it comes to how to plan out a photoshoot, you may also include some descriptions of the goal of the photoshoot, the creative direction, ideas and themes. You may also include any background information, or notes of what you don’t want to achieve.

Make sure you share your concept with your key stakeholders – your clients, or your business leaders. You may also decide to share your concept with your creative team in advance of planning the photoshoot, to gather their input and collaborate with them on how best to achieve your vision.

Ultimately, your concept is critical to getting everyone on the same page, and you’ll need it close at hand on the shoot day – so consider uploading it into digital CallSheet software like Visie.

3. Pre-production

The pre-production stage is where you really start getting into the nitty gritty of planning a photoshoot. And this is the most important part of the planning stage. This is when you’ll plan out:

  • casting
  • location
  • props
  • equipment needed
  • set pieces
  • fashion styling / wardrobe
  • products
  • budgeting
  • catering – the whole lot!

If all these details are considered, resolved and agreed to in advance of the shoot, you’ll be looking down the barrel of a much better, smoother production, which is the ultimate goal!

Here at Visie, our (unofficial) motto is communication, coordination, collaboration. Nail those three, and you’ve got yourself a winning shoot. 

The key to pre-production planning is effective communication, to minimize repetitive questions for busy producers, and maximize detailed information that everyone needs. Using Call Sheet software like Visie, you can create a quick and easy digital Call Sheet process that can be shared with the whole team and updated moment to moment. You can add as much detail as you like, including Google Maps location pins, parking information, and even where the nearest café is for the crew’s quickest caffeine fix throughout the day.

Speaking of caffeine, Visie even stores everyone’s individual coffee orders, so you can wow the cast and crew by placing their favorite drink right into their hands.

4. Production & Shoot

Shoot day is here! So what’s the best way to effectively communicate to everyone their roles and responsibilities, as well as showing them the bigger picture of how their individual role affects the running of the day? Call Sheet software like Visie will make the day run as smoothly as possible.

These days, everyone is pretty much surgically attached to their phones, so they may as well be seeing useful information on there! Changes will inevitably happen on shoot day, which can be shared and updated via text on-the-go. This will make sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time, knows their roles and responsibilities, the shots that need to be achieved, visual references, forecasted weather conditions, and so much more.

5. Post-production

Sometimes just called ‘post’, post-production needs to be factored into your planning a photoshoot. It’s basically everything that happens after you finish the production (or shoot) itself. The photographer will be exporting files and backing up all the shots from production, and your team will start selecting the images for editing. Post-production can also include retouching of images, and overlaying any graphic or design elements that may be required. If there are multiple stakeholders and decision-makers who need to approve shots or give feedback on them, consider using photoshoot software to streamline the process. 

Above all, the most important thing when you’re planning out a photoshoot is clear communication. That’s where creating a digital Call Sheet using Visie can come in handy, so all the who, what, when, where, how and why of your photoshoot can be viewed by everyone involved in the photoshoot.

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