7 Things to consider when planning your next photo shoot

I totally understand that hiring a photographer can be a big step and feel like a daunting and intimidating one to take. I personally always feel put at ease when I have all the information I need to make an educated, informed decision that I can feel confident (and EXCITED!) about.

So here’s my list of things to consider when planning your next photo shoot, to make sure you can feel prepared and look forward to working with a photographer.

7 Things to consider when planning your next photo shoot

1. Do you need a photographer?

You might assume you definitely need a photographer, otherwise you obviously wouldn’t be reading this. Go back one step though, and consider this question for a minute. This should come before everything else. There’s no point investing in professional photography if you don’t need to. Maybe you can take photos yourself? Or maybe your partner can snap a few images of you on the phone?

That might not cut it of course, so working with a photographer is the next obvious step. A photographer can help you get professional, high quality photos, without you having to worry about finding the best angle, the best light, overthinking what to wear (if they’re good, they’ll advise you and take all the guess-work out of it), worrying about lines being distorted because your boyfriend just isn’t a photographer and you look a bit like a giant in the photo (or a midget, depending on the angle ;) ). There are many more things a photographer helps with. Overall, my point being - working with a photographer that knows what they’re doing takes a lot of the worry out of having your photos taken. Photos that represent you, who you are and what you do, in a way that speaks to your ideal customers. Photos that you yourself love. 

That’s really the biggest point and reason for hiring a photographer I believe - feeling confident about yourself. Putting yourself out there freely and confidently, because you know you’ve got this. You can own it. (On that note, a photographer also knows how to put you at ease in front of the camera, maybe more so than that friend you’re thinking of asking).

2. What is your brand all about?

Think about what makes you unique, what aspects of you are worth sharing, what makes you special. How do you want to come across, and what kinds of people do you want to attract?

All these questions are important to answer, so you and your photographer can craft the perfect images, find the best location, decide on the right clothes, etc.

3. Where will you use the images?

Do you want a library of personal and bespoke photos, i.e. a collection of images that are uniquely your own that you can use on your social media accounts and share on your blog? Or are you just looking for a few headshots to use on your website, linkedin and social media? Or perhaps you’re looking for a mix of those - a few different portraits, as well as some lifestyle and detail shots so you can pick and choose the best ones for your website, and some other ones for social media.

4. What photos do you like, what inspires you, what kind of style and vibe do you love?

Having a collection of photos that are similar to what you imagine can help both you and the photographer plan out the shoot. If you don’t have any ideas, that’s totally ok. Whoever you end up working with (I hope it’ll be me of course ;) ) will be able to guide you and share some ideas, based on what you shared about your brand (see question 2 above).

5. What locations would you love to shoot in?

Again, this largely depends on your brand and what you need the photos for. You might decide that shooting at your studio/office or home makes the most sense. Or maybe you’re after more “day in the life”/behind the scenes type of images and you’d love to visit your favourite gallery, coffee shop, restaurant, park, etc.

6. What clothes do you feel most comfortable in?

What do you usually wear? When thinking about your clothes for the shoot day, think about what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Are those types of clothes aligned with your brand, do they give you a sense of “this is really me”, and convey what you’re all about?

Also, what colours complement your face and skin tone best? You’re likely already drawn to those colours naturally and have a wardrobe full of them. If you’re totally unsure about what to wear, snap a few quick phone pics of possible outfits and share them with your photographer.

7. Lastly, who’s your ideal photographer and why?

Who do you want to work with? Do you like their style and the photos they take? Do you like and, more importantly, connect with their personality? I think this is such a huge point - you want to feel comfortable around whoever takes your photos. Do you know their process? How do they usually work? Do they take the time to get to know you and your needs? Is it a good fit?

People often compare photographers based on price, but I believe that personality and fit (based on vibe and values) is so much more important, especially if you’re after photos of yourself, or are thinking of building up a lasting relationship with a photographer. 

Once you’ve worked with someone once, you both know each other so much better, so it becomes much easier to shoot a second, third, fourth time. You’ll feel like friends and know exactly what works and what doesn’t. The photographer will know your style and what you like. Everything becomes so much easier. But it all starts with choosing someone you can imagine being around even when you’re not taking photos.

Another reason to not choose based on price is to focus on benefits over features. What does the photographer promise? Is he/she just offering a set of images, or is there more to it? For example, I aim to make you feel confident in yourself and comfortable in front of the camera. I’m also all about saving you time, taking the pain and stress out of having your photos taken, allowing you to get back to focus on your real work and what you’re good at - the stuff that allows you to make an impact, your strengths.

What benefits apart from the photos themselves matter to you?

If you’ve decided you need some new photos, are “photographer hunting” at the moment and feel like you want to get to know me so we can see if we’re a good fit, get in touch with me here.

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