Learning Center

How to prepare for a photoshoot

Photography is the visual tool used to communicate what an organization is all about, and to show the people in the organization and the operations of everything around it. Getting professional photography of your business and your employees is a worthwhile investment — your business isn’t stock, so why should you use stock photography? But it’s important to can make the most of the opportunity when your photographer is on-site. Professional photographers will do their best to maximize your investment, but you can help by preparing yourself and the surrounding environment for a photoshoot.

Goals

You and the photographer should discuss the end goal of the photoshoot well before the shoot takes place.

Questions to consider include: how will the shots be used — on your website, in print collateral, or for other purposes? Do you need group photos and headshots of staff, candid photos of workers, and/or establishing shots of the interior or exterior of the building? Are product or process shots important?

Once you both have a clear understanding of the goals of the shoot, the photographer can make sure they are taking photos suitable for your purpose. While it’s not the client’s job to have exact shot lists, you should have a general idea of what is needed and expected to help the photographer get a clearer image of your expectations and what to shoot.

Timing

Timing is everything when scheduling a photoshoot. Here are things to consider:

Unless customers/people are necessary for the shot, try to avoid business times when there will be heavy traffic and/or activity in or around the photoshoot area. This keeps distractions minimal and gives the photographer more freedom to get the shots they need.

Time of day can be important for lighting as well. If the shoot is outside, avoid the afternoon as that is when shadows are the most harsh. Mornings and evenings tend to create much better outdoor lighting.

Lighting can be important for interior photography as well. If one of the areas you need to shoot has lots of windows, determine when that area has the least direct sunlight and schedule your shoot accordingly.

Environment

Keep the surrounding area free of clutter or items you would not like to be seen in the shoot. If there are any places or objects that should NOT be photographed, be sure to make that clear to the photographer. It is also beneficial to physically show the photographer those things when they arrive for the shoot, so they know what to avoid.

Any props or equipment necessary for the shoot should be cleaned and presentable. Photographers can usually clean up small aberrations (for example, a dent in the wall or scratch on equipment) in post-processing, but these types of improvements can only go so far.

People

Whether the photoshoot requires one person or a whole team of people, make sure that everyone needed is well aware of when the shoot is happening, what it is for, and where they will need to be. This helps keep everyone on the same page so when the photographer arrives everyone knows what the plan is and you can make the most of the photographer’s time.

If customers are required for the shoot, you will need to recruit customers or stand-ins who are willing to appear in marketing photography. Your photographer should come prepared with photo release forms for everyone not employed by your business so that you can use the shots in your marketing.

If a standard uniform or business formal/casual is needed, make sure you and your employees have everything clean, ironed, and ready for the day of the shoot. If the shoot does not require specific clothing, then the most important thing is to make sure you are wearing something you can be confident in. If you cannot be confident in what you are wearing, it will show in the photos and the pictures will not turn out how you’d prefer.

General guidelines for what to wear include:

  • Avoid visible brands, logos, graphics or lettering (unless of course as part of a work uniform).
  • Clothing should fit in the style of the surrounding environment (colors, style of clothing and accessories).
  • Clothing should be clean with no wrinkles.
  • Solid colors typically work best as opposed to busier prints or designs.
  • Choose clothes that blend into the surroundings and allow more focus on the main subject of the photograph, rather than trying to make a fashion statement.
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