How to Prepare for your Photo Shoot

We appreciate that having a professional photographer can be a significant investment for you and your business. Getting it right can certainly lead to an increase in customers. This guide is designed to help you get the most from your photo shoot.

Steps 1-4 can be considered before you even pick up the phone to see if we’re available. Then once we’ve met and decided on what you’d like to achieve from your photo shoot, the remaining steps can be followed  – before and during the shoot.

Before the Shoot

1. What do you want to photograph?

This sounds like an obvious question, but it’s important to consider exactly what you want/need to photograph. For example, with product photography, it might be that some products come with images from the supplier, so you don’t actually need to photograph them. If we’re photographing people, do you need everyone photographed? Have a think about this first, but remember the list may develop as we help come up with the concept for your shoot.

2. Where are the photos going to be used?

Generally, this is quite a straightforward answer, but do consider it carefully. Are you looking for photos for your homepage, your product pages, a brochure, social media? Would you like the photos to be used in multiple places?

3. What message or feeling do you want to convey?

We’ll be able to help with this when we meet to understand your business more. But think about the message you’re trying to convey through your photos. What is it about your business that you’d like to show your potential customers? What are your core values? How does it feel to be one of your customers? The photos and imagery you use are a powerful tool to communicate why your business is going to be useful to a potential customer.

4. Do you have any ideas and concepts for the shoot?

Time to get creative! We’ll help with this aspect once we meet (or over the phone), but have a think about your own ideas for the shoot – do you envisage a certain style or look? What type of backgrounds would you like? Don’t worry if you don’t have any ideas at this stage, we’ll help determine the concept for the shoot as well.

5. Pre-shoot Meeting

Generally, we’ll have a pre-shoot meeting. It may not be necessary in all cases. Or it may be possible to discuss ideas over the phone. Either way, we’d like to understand your business and help develop the concept for the photo shoot. Ultimately, great photos are beneficial to everyone – you attract more customers and we have a great portfolio to show!

6. Shot List

After the pre-shoot meeting, you’ll be able to create a shot list to work from on the day. This is a useful tool to ensure we achieve the essentials during the shoot. However, this is really only a skeleton list; there are always ideas which we come up with on the day. So just put the essentials on this list – sometimes the magic happens once you’re finished with the ‘safe’ shots from the list and we start freestyling!

The Day of the Shoot

7. Prepare Products, People and Locations

On the day, make sure you have everything ready – it’s worth preparing well. If we’re shooting products, make sure you have them all easily accessible, clean and ready to go. If we’re photographing people, make sure they know in advance what the plan is and whether they need to dress appropriately etc. For interior photography (and the location in general), make sure the place is clean and tidy. Remove distracting objects such as signs and fire extinguishers. Its amazing what shows up in a photograph, so be super-pedantic! And if that’s not in your nature – we’re here to help!

8. Food and Drink

A subject dear to my heart! If you have multiple people involved in the photo shoot, make sure you’ve considered their catering requirements. If we’re on-location somewhere, is there a place to get lunch? Have you told everyone to bring their lunch etc?


Photo shoots can be long and tiring. There can be a lot of decisions to be made on the day, and possibly several people to organise. On the flip side, they’re also extremely fun and rewarding. When you’re working through ideas and creating images, it’s a real buzz when you come up with an amazing image you hadn’t considered before!

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. By preparing well and knowing what you want to achieve, you’ll enjoy the day even more!

We look forward to seeing you on location soon, wherever that may be!

If you’d like to chat through some ideas, get in touch – we’re always happy to talk.