How To Prepare For A Photoshoot

How to Prepare For a Photoshoot - Kira Hyde Creative

When it comes to hiring a professional service, especially a photographer, it's important to be prepared! Remember that you want to be proud of everything that represents your brand - including yourself! So being prepared for something that is going to elevate your brand AND convert potential clients, is essential! 

When I booked my first shoot, I knew that it was now or never - or atleast until the following year! As a full-time traveller, finding the right photographer is difficult. When I'm away from home, I'm overseas and never in one place long enough to really connect with a photographer and plan a shoot. So that's how I found my main gal - Michelle Cail from Gingerhouse Photography. We connected online, she was a local from my home town and I knew from the many recommendations that she was a genuine business owner and talented photographer. 

From there we started planning. First over email, phone calls, and then when I returned home we finally connected over a cuppa! Waiting and searching and planning was the BEST thing I could have done for my brand, and it's paid off ten times over. 

Which brings me to the good stuff! I'm sharing my ultimate tips on preparing for your photoshoot, from booking your shoot, up until the day of!  

Why you NEED to be prepared...

When you book a photoshoot for your business, you're not just investing in images, you're investing in your brand. That's also why you need to treat the experience how you would expect a client to treat yours, with respect and an open-minded. This will allow you to embrace the experience and get the best return on your investment. Taking these simple steps to prepare for the shoot, will truly give you the most out of your experience, and you'll be better equipped to provide the energy required for the day!  

10 Tips to Prepare for Your Photoshoot...


Think about when you receive an enquiry from someone, would you rather get a one sentence response, OR would you rather receive a detailed insight into what the potential client requires so you can decide whether or not they are the right fit? I always choose the latter, that way I'm able to point them in the right direction AND save time for both of us. So always send enquires with enough information about what you need or envision. 


With any creative project, starting with a mood or vision board is a great way to really fine-tune what you're hoping to achieve. So start by creating a board on Pinterest and search for ideas on what you'd like your photos to look like. Pay attention to poses, lighting, colours, and facial expressions. This will help you when practicing for your shoot, AND it will help your photographer. By sharing your Pinterest board with your photographer, they can gain an insight into your vision, and start preparing themselves by taking notes and choosing the right gear to achieve what you need. 


One of the best things you can do is make a plan of where you need your images to go, and how you want to showcase them. Think about where you might need them? Are they going on your website, branding, social media or professional documents? What colour clothing will you need to wear to maintain a consistence and cohesive look across your platforms? What purpose are you planning on using them for? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time and informing your photographer about them can really help in preparing a positive end result. There is nothing worse than having a shoot and realising your image don't actually suit the intended purpose. 


Whether you chat in message, over the phone or better yet, in person - just make sure you do it. Having an actual conversation with your photographer is the best way to build connection and trust. Knowing that you both have a clear and aligned vision is essential and it's the best way to ensure that you are going to be happy with the end result. It also allows you to go over any of the important details and answer any questions you weren't comfortable asking over email. 


This applies to not only your booking with the photographer, but also your hair and makeup appointments, and even nails, tanning and waxing. If you decide to do any of these, make sure you book your appointments for the appropriate days and inform your photographer about them in case they need to consider alternative gear and techniques that support your appearance. Also, be sure to ask if the photographer has secured the location and received the necessary approvals, there is nothing worse than encountering a problem during your shoot!


I recommend packing a suitcase or bag with everything you need for your shoot. This includes personal effects like outfit changes, backup jewellery, makeup and shoes. Be sure to also pack any necessary props that relate the the shoot theme or your brand. Having props is a great way to connect with your audience, if chosen correctly they can be an asset to the shoot. Even if you don't require most of these, consider taking them anyway, often you or your photographer will have an inspired moment where you wish you thought of bringing a particular item.  


Remember that these images will typically be used throughout your entire brand and online presence for years to come. So be sure to put effort in your appearance. I don't necessarily mean you should pay for professional hair and makeup, as that may not suit your brand or the image you are trying to create. Instead, focus on dressing authentic to your brand, while still being professional. Looking the part also applies to your expressions and poses. Go back to your Pinterest board and start taking note of what you do and don't like about the poses. Are they natural? Do they seem authentic? Are they trying too hard? These are all things you should consider when posing for your photos. 


In this case, being punctual means both being on time and being ready for each scenario of the day. Be prepared to stand in uncomfortable positions, or to laugh on cue or to face wind, cold or heat just to get the perfect shot. If you are ready for anything, then you will truly get the most out of your time and the locations. Also, start the day off on a good note by arriving on location early so you can enjoy a coffee, do final checks or scroll through your inspirational images one last time.


One of the biggest things that hold people back in photoshoots is a negative mindset. If you arrive on location full of doubts and feeling insecure, you're not going to have a positive experience. So be sure to give yourself a bit of a pep-talk before you meet the photographer (you don't want them to be pulled down with you!) Instead, try telling yourself what this will do for your brand or business. Think about the benefits of an experience like this. Think about your audience and how you want these images to influence and inspire them. Think about someone else feeling the same way that you are and tell yourself all the things you would tell them. Mindset will make or break your day, so let your mind be nothing but positive and confident. 


Remember all the reasons why you picked this photographer and trust them. Deciding to work with someone is a two-way street. A great photographer is nothing but passionate, so trust that they are dedicated to your vision and your shoot. If you're feeling unsure about anything, ask them questions. If they suggest something that you might be shy to do, just do it because you never know until you try. Give them respect when it comes to their creative ideas and trust that they know what they're doing. If you chose that photographer, then it was probably for a good reason! 

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Kira Hyde

I'm a Brand and Web Designer for Creatives' in Biz.