Create a mood board.
I don’t know about you but I’m a visual person. You can talk to me all day about what you want from a shoot but if I don’t have at least one example image, I feel SUPER lost. From a mood board you can tell the photographer and the rest of the team exactly the vibe you’re after. Pinterest is amazing for this! Seriously, if there were a job where you get paid to scroll through Pinterest all day, I would happily do overtime everyday!
Mood boarding tip:
Create an aesthetic through colour, tone, type of clothing, makeup etc. in order to have a clear vision for your shoot.
What is your aim? What do you want to achieve from the photoshoot? What comes next after you have received the images? Ask yourself these questions before a shoot and be surprised at how everything else falls into place.
Plan the details as much as you can. Do you have a time restriction? What time of the day do you want to shoot? For example if you want soft lighting plan the shoot closer to sunrise (or sunset if you don’t want everyone to resent you).
I’d also highly recommend visiting the location well before at the time of day you want to shoot to see what the lighting is like.
Know the brand.
Do your research!! Have a mission statement and know what your brand stands for. Let the team know this in your briefing. Can you imagine if your brand is vegan but you didn’t communicate it to anyone and the stylist turns up with a fur coat or the makeup artist has brushes made of animal hair - not sure if that’s a thing but you get what I mean…
Everyone must be on the same level! We should all know what’s going on, what we’re aiming to achieve, and why we’re doing the things we’re doing. This will save you so much time and maybe even a headache (re: tip#3).
Side tip: Fill out a ‘runsheet’ and send it to your team!
Have no expectations.
And now I’m going to contradict my second tip. You can plan all you want but remember that things go wrong ALL the time. Bad weather happens, people cancel, the sky is overcast when you wanted full sun…
You can let this ruin your day or you can go with the flow, and work with what you’ve got. You never know, things might turn out better than you expect!