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  • Writer's pictureJane Hayes Consulting

How To Plan A Photoshoot.

Updated: 18 hours ago

Woman in a flowing red dress, stands on a pier with her arms stretched out.

Editorial photoshoot for Parterre Fragrances.

In today’s blog, we are talking about brand photoshoots and how to get the most out of your investment. With so many demands for brand content in 2022, it’s vital that all brands have a solid image and video bank to cover all needs. When it comes to branding and company image, it’s not just about your logo, colour scheme and written voice; the images you use for your brand also play an important role. People are visual beings and brand visuals tell so much of the story; according to HubSpot, when an individual reads something, they only retain 10% of the information, but when a related image is attached, the retention rate grows to as much as 65%.

Photoshoots can be expensive, so when planning one, make the most of it and research the content you need. Think about your content calendar and the number of images and videos you need to cover all bases, from your website, brochures, email signatures, social media, and more. Having the right team on board is vital to getting the best from your brand shoots, and so is planning, which we will take you through today.

Social content shoot for Clive Christianson.

Social content shoot for Clive Christianson.

Planning a Photoshoot:

1. Be clear on your brand and audience.

2. Define the purpose of the photoshoot.

3. Select a photographer.

4. List how you plan to use the images.

5. Create a mood or inspiration board.

6. Choose and book locations.

7. Choose & prepare outfits, looks or products.

8. Hire & schedule additional talent.

9. Gather props & accessories.

10. Make a detailed shot list.

11. Make a timeline & communicate.

12. Send Run Sheets and Confirm.

13. Shoot.

1. Be clear on your brand and audience:

You must know your brand. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: know your audience! When planning a branded photoshoot, be sure you have a firm grasp of your brand, how it speaks, its colour palette, and its tone. Brands that don’t take the time to establish this run the risk of not connecting with an audience as their approach is haphazard, making it hard to connect; connection is vital to strong brand-consumer bonds. Take the time to know what type of images and video content will best speak for your brand and consider how a consumer will connect with them. Your brand might be an energetic, youth-orientated sportswear brand, and if you are planning a photoshoot, these emotions should be considered and reflected in the shoot’s poses, talent, and mood.

2. Define the purpose of the photoshoot:

What is the purpose of the shoot you’re planning? Are you creating images for a new collection launch, capturing images to freshen up your website, social media, or a new brand look, be sure to define the purpose. Doing so will ensure that the right images are taken that suit your business needs best and that no time or money is wasted.

3. Select a photographer:

Choose the right photographer for your needs, whether it be a still, eCommerce or food photographer. Talk to contacts and seek recommendations, research, and look up portfolios online, be sure to ask for references to ensure the quality of their work. Work together and take their thoughts on board regarding shoot aspects and be sure to create an agreement on usage rights, cancellation, and delay scenarios.

4. List how you plan to use the images:

Create a list of the places you want to use the images; doing so will help guide you when you brief your creative team. You may be planning some editorials and require some portrait shots, the image may go towards a new or refreshed website, so depending on the layout, you may require some landscape images formatted for web use. Thinking ahead means a smoother shoot and ensuring all needs are met. Depending on the photographer, you may also need to pay different fees for image usage; some photographers will charge extra for using images across various countries and platforms, from print to digital, which will differ depending on the amount of time they are used. To avoid a cost blowout, talk to the creative team and ensure you know the final cost. Think about how various images can be edited in post-production to assist you in stretching out the usage.

Three Parterre purfume boxes sit in a row

Product photography for Parterre.

5. Create a mood or inspiration board:

Creatives are a visual bunch, so when briefing your team, be sure to not only include a written run down on the shoot be sure to also include visual inspirations/mood boards. For various photoshoots we have done, we have included this as part of the initial creative brief to ensure everyone onboard knows what we are trying to create. Mood boards take a bit of the ambiguity out of the process. They help you to develop and finalise your final shot concept and can be done on the walls of your office or via platforms such as Pinterest, where the team can add to the process.

an insperation board for a photoshoot

6. Choose and book locations:

Depending on your brand, tone and offering, you may choose to conduct your photo shoot on location or in a studio. Consider the things you will need on the day: a place to change, space for hair and make-up, utilities, light, and if also shooting video, think about noise. Be sure to consider changes in weather conditions; you may want to choose a location that has both inside and outside locations that cover all bases and remove the threat of a cancelled or delayed shoot. It’s also important to not let the location distract from the products you’re capturing; view the location in person with your creative team to ensure it meets all requirements.

7. Choose & prepare outfits, looks or products:

Ensure you capture your entire collection by making sure you have all the requisite stock on hand and in the correct sizes. Some items can be photoshopped or pinned on the model, but it’s ideal to have the stock available in all its varieties on the day. Create a visual plan with prepared looks; Excel is an excellent tool for this and all your planning requirements. Consult with your team in preparing to ensure nothing is missed and all voices are heard.

A black and white photo of a woman lying back in a black dress

Editorial Photoshoot for The Spirit of the Black Dress.

8. Hire & schedule talent:

If required, select the talent for the shoot. Talent booking can be made through agencies, and depending on your needs, casting calls can always be organised to ensure the talent truly meets your needs. Think carefully about the model/s you choose; mood boards can assist in narrowing down the look you're after, saving you time. Do fittings before you make your selection. When selecting your talent, consider your brand positioning, the message you want to convey, the age of your consumer and your size range. The talent you choose can speak loudly about your brand, so choose strategically.

An ad for Dairy Crest. A grandfather makes food with two children

Lifestyle photoshoot for Dairy Crest.

9. Gather props & accessories:

Depending on what type of photo shoot you're doing, you may need to gather props and accessories. These may be organised by your stylist, but if your business is covering this aspect, they can be sourced from prop shops and or from home. The props you use will depend on the type of product you're capturing, your brand voice and the mood of the shots; keep them complimentary to the shoot, product, and brand. Say you're an activewear brand; your props may be gym equipment, skipping ropes, hurdles, or a kit bag. Alternatively, you could be a homeware brand, so think of items found in the home, food, cakes, cookbooks and or elements that make up the items you sell. Be creative and have fun; this will help set the tone of your brand personality. To ensure variety be sure to capture your products with and without props; this can double the content you can create.

10. Make a detailed shot list:

Shoot day can be chaotic, with so much to achieve in a short time. This is where detailed shot lists come into play. Before your shoot, sit down with your team and plan the footage you need to capture. You may want to create gifs or capture items from various angles; include as much detail as possible so your production team can get everything done in the allocated time.

  • List the items you're shooting.

  • List the individual shots you require

  • Include extra fine detail shots you need for particular items

  • List and describe the backgrounds and props associated with the images.

  • Include reference images

11. Make a timeline & communicate:

Communication is key for any aspect of your business, but it's vital when it comes to deadlines. Need particular images from your shoot by a specific date? Create a timeline for the shoot, retouching if required and when final images will be needed. Planning makes everything run efficiently, makes for a happy team, and means no delay in receiving the final product. Be sure to discuss your timelines with the team to ensure everyone is on the same page.

12. Send Run Sheets and Confirm:

A run sheet or call sheet is vital for any successful photo shoot. It's a document that includes all critical information needed on the day, including the names and contact details of all people required and their roles. It also features the address of the shoot location and a map, start and end times, and the shot list. Be sure to send it to all involved; we always have printed copies on the day.

13. Shoot:

It's shoot day, exciting! You've planned and prepared and know your mission. Create a positive and comfortable environment, the day will go much smoother, and everyone will be more productive. Save on time with catering, and don't forget to wear comfortable shoes; heels on concrete floors are never a great combination.

Campaign photoshoot for MYOB.

Campaign photoshoot for MYOB.

Have a photoshoot in mind and need help putting it all together? Talk to Jane Hayes consulting today.

Jane Hayes Consulting, Leading You Through The Digital World:

Jane Hayes Consulting is an independent digital marketing agency founded to help businesses create consistent, creatively aligned, and strategic content. Jane Hayes Consulting can help you put your best foot forward with our expertly crafted team covering website design and building, marketing strategy, content creation, brand creation, and project management. We work within budget restraints and look toward the future. Need assistance in developing your digital strategy and creating a business advantage? Contact Jane Hayes Consulting today and sign up for our newsletter.


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