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13 Tips For Planning Your First Photoshoot

Planning your first photoshoot can be stressful. However, the preparation work can pay dividends in having your shoot run smoothly. Arch Photo Studio is at the more affordable end of the studio hire market. Because of this, we see a lot of people coming into the studio for the first time. They might just be starting in photography, or getting a new business venture off the ground. Studio photoshoots are a new creative process for them. We’ve put together some tips on planning your first photoshoot in London.

We’ve noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the impetus for a lot of people to get their side hustle off the ground or change careers. Developing good images or videos is key to selling their products or services and we’re here to help achieve their creative vision.

photoshoots in London
The concept for this portrait shoot was the Sci-Fi film Blade runner.

Your studio time will fly by. It pays to prepare and plan for your photoshoot so you get the most out of it. The guide breaks down into three broad sections and then I go into some more detailed things you should consider.

Planning Photoshoots In London

  • Pin down your concept/idea. Share this with everyone involved. everyone needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet and other people might have good input or props that they can bring to the shoot.
  • Decide on the location, props, equipment needed to realise the concept. These need to be bought or hired ahead of time and make sure you know how to use them and that everything works. eg. all the electrical items have plugs on them.
  • Crew required to make it all happen. Photographer, videographer, hair and makeup, models, wardrobe, assistants to run around and sort stuff out. A studio can end up being quite busy. With COVID social distancing in play, you need to balance keeping numbers to a minimum. Everyone is safe with having the right amount of people to have a successful photoshoot.
photoshoot moodboard example
Pinterest Board For the Sci-Fi Image Above

Planning Your First Photoshoot Tips

  • Prepare mood boards – Pinterest is great for this and can be done ahead of time and shared with everyone involved so they know what you are trying to achieve. This defines the style of images you want which impacts the lighting choice, background, props hair, and makeup.
  • Prepare a Call Sheet – crew, models, studio, include phone numbers, studio or location address. Have everyone’s phone numbers, arrival time, shoot duration, the shoot concept, any clothes they should wear/bring.
  • Figure out your journey and travel times and check for closures on the day of the shoot that might make you late. Also, check on the parking situation. We have limited / no parking during the week, but are fine at weekends.
  • Aim to arrive a few minutes early, you’ll have to wait in reception but you can hit the ground running. From experience, about 25% of bookings arrive late and waste time and then overrun and incur overtime.
music video poker room scene
Set Building Takes Time
  • Don’t underestimate set build time, figure out the lighting, and how long hair and makeup can take. Ideally, set build and hair/makeup should be done at the same time.
  • Shotlist – It’s very important to have a list of the images you want from the shoot prepared and have something to tick off against as you go along.
  • Print out your model release forms.
photoshoot wrap group shot
Happy Crews Make for Good Shoots
  • Catering – A hungry crew = grumbly crew sometimes. Don’t waste time by getting food during the shoot, arrive with food. This means you can be making sure the models and photographer are doing the right thing rather than trying to find food or order Deliveroo.
  • Consider social media and BTS image guidelines/embargoes. You don’t want a crew posting a photo of a yet-to-be-launched product on a public forum before you the person paying for the whole shoot launches the product.
  • An assistant is very useful, as they can be the stand-in for the model who is having their hair and makeup done when figuring out the lighting. They can hold reflectors and move light stands around, nip to the shops if snacks are required.

Photoshoots in London can be quite stressful, but you should have a successful photography shoot if you follow these tips. Give us a call on the number above to discuss your requirements or head to the photo studio booking page.

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