Here are a few tips to get you started in planning for your creative shoot. It can be a big job or small, these tips will still help you get organized and kick ass on your photoshoot!
At this point, you have a creative shoot booked and now need to get cracking on...well, everything.
- What is the intent of the shoot/ What is the purpose? ( marketing? partnership? trade for product?)
- Is there a target audience? ( I wouldn't be targeting to wedding clients by doing a portrait shoot. Keep that in mind when booking jobs. Will it even benefit what I do? If not, re-evaluate why you are taking this project on)
- Location, location, location ( What will I need on this location? Travel? Bringing props to a borrowed/rented space? Asking models/actors to travel? )
Now that you've answered all the questions above ( you have, right?)
Let's talk about the next step:
- What props/ wardrobe do I need? ( I had a very specific look I wanted for my most recent creative shoot, so I purchased wardrobe for the models to wear along with what I asked them to bring.)
- What props are available? ( I got lucky shooting at a store that had pretty much any odd prop I could ever want in it. If you have a vision, find that prop. Rent it, borrow it, buy it. You'll be happy you did)
- Models. I think this can go very much into the planning process. You're trying to market to or have a particular look for your shoot? You better be in charge of finding the perfect models. ( I had a look I wanted, I knew models with that look. I also had backups in case of emergency. Its ok to have backups. Some might think this can be insulting but its not, they are just as valued and appreciated) I also offer them an incentive like free hair/makeup for the day, free photoshoot, and often will gift them one image and use of any images used on social media.
Yay! You've got stuff planned now? Start creating a mood board. This could easily fit into the Planning part and is important but I dont always do a mood board. I talk it out throughly with my client. Realize, not everyone is creative and can't " see" your vision yet. That's why you should make a mood board to show your client ( like Pinterest). Go as far as to show them props, wardrobe, even lighting concepts. Easy, peasy.
I'll say it again, contract. Don't have one? Get one, now. Buy one, write one, just have one.
- Contract with company you are working it. Think about what the shoot is for. What are you both agreed upon for this shoot? ( back to the first part about intent/purpose of the shoot) My contract is a lot of legal talk but it says what I need it to and covers everything I've discussed with the business/person I'm working with ( there are some great online sources for this when looking for wording but I would recommend talking to an expert as well)
Still on contract, I make more than one copy and have a signed copy by them and myself for myself and one for them. I want backup and proof incase anything comes back that is an issue, I've got it all in front of me. Some photographers so online contracts, totally fine. I just prefer a hard copy. Sign and date everything.
- Model release. Have all models sign a release. For a creative shoot, you are hiring/bartering with a model for their full availability for the shoot. Have your model release reflect this. I have them sign a " Share all images" on my model release along with where they can be shared. There is no confusing on where/why I am using these images. Again, sign and date.
Now, go shoot. Have fun with your shoot. Be professional. Network. Shake hands. Learn names. Drink tons of coffee.