There are several things that photographers should remember to do when they are preparing for a photoshoot. A lot of the upcoming points will appear to be "common sense trivial things", but it is not uncommon for photographers (and models alike) to forget a few things in the midst of organizing and preparing for a photoshoot. Preparing for a photoshoot, especially for those who are new, can have its challenges. Considering that we are all human, we all make mistakes and forget things, and that's just life. :)
Please note that this article is mostly directed towards newer photographers. As a newer photographer myself, I did a little bit of research on what a photographer can do to prepare for a shoot.
The other day, I wrote a blog post on what a model can do to prepare for a photoshoot, which can be found by clicking HERE
1. Make sure you know how to use your equipment and are familiar with all the features of your camera. If you have a new camera or lighting equipment, read the instruction manuals. There is nothing worse than coming to a shoot, where the photographer is blindly fidgeting with the camera, not knowing how to adjust the settings.
2. Study up on some lighting techniques. For example, Billy Pegram's book called Lighting Techniques for Photographing Model Portfolios: Strategies for Digital Photographers has had several good reviews from photographers and is worth a read.
3. When you contact a model about a shoot, be sure to include details of the shoot. Such details include, but are not limited to: proposed date and time of the shoot, location, type of shoot (fashion, glamour, lingerie, swimwear, etc), compensation (TFP or paid), and whether or not there will be a make-up artist or hairstylist present. That information is important, because it allows a model to do her part of the preparation for a shoot. The more information, the better.
4. When planning a photoshoot, include a contact number, so that the model can call you if needed. Also, have the model's (and other team members') phone number. It's always best to talk to everyone involved prior to a shoot. Additionally, it's a lot easier to discuss shoots over the phone as opposed to endless emails.
5. 24-48 hours before a shoot, confirm to make sure that the shoot is still on. This includes, having talked to the model on the phone. Also, make sure that your own phone is charged before the shoot, so that people can get ahold of you for any reason.
6. If you are shooting away from your home/studio (or out of town) bring snacks and water. It's always good to be energized and hydrated for photoshoots.
7. When you contact a model (or when shooting, or when you're on the phone), do not bore models with some long-winded explanation about the artistic meaning of the images you have in the portfolio and how much of an artist you are. If you truly are an artist, you don't need to keep saying it-people will see it.
8. For shoots on location, it is best to scout out the location before you decide to bring the model out there. For example, if you are shooting at a park, check to see when the least busy times are to prevent interruptions. Also, some locations may require permits, so be aware of that before you start shooting.
9. Bring spare and charged batteries for your camera, and for any wireless flash devices that you may have. Also, bring an extra memory card, because you might end up taking more images and shooting longer than you'd planned.
10. If you are going outside to shoot, check the forecast, and dress for the weather. If it's hot and sunny, bring sunscreen and lots of water. If it will be wet and rainy (it's probably best to shoot on a different day). However, if the forecast says there's a chance of rain, bring a raincoat and a spare change of clothes.
11. Always test your camera. Keep practicing photography before you plan any formal photoshoots. It's also always good to know that your camera and lights are working properly before you start shooting.
12. Make sure that you have all your photography equipment and accessories in an organized place. See if you need any filters, sync cords, USB wires, different lenses, extension cords, etc (depending on the circumstances of the shoot).
If you believe that I've left something out, please feel free to add it in the comments section, or comment on my Facebook Page.
That way, more people can refer to it later on.
Thank you for reading,