The 4 P’s: 4 Tips to Prep for a Photoshoot

I must admit that when I first started this blogging thing, I was lost for taking pictures. I just knew I liked taking photos of my outfit, but didn’t realize so much more needed to go into planning. Factors like time of day, content topics, weather, length of photoshoot, and so much more all play a major factor. Now that I’ve been to the rodeo a few times, I feel like I have come up with some foolproof tips that help the process go smoother. Here are 4 tips for planning a smooth photoshoot.

1.)Plan (Plan Your Content/Theme)

This is probably the most vital, which is why I listed it first. You must know what you are planing to write about or post; including sponsored or gifted ads, etc. Also knowing what special days or holidays are coming up, that you plan to center your content around. Once you know the type of content you plan for the month, it will narrow down your scope for outfits. (I use a great month content strategy by Becoming Natasha.) It will also help make sure you have enough content for the month, and that your pictures once posted will have a nice and cohesive flow.

I remember I used to just pick outfits that I wanted to wear with no plan of what it was for. This left me discombobulated trying to connect my outfit to content. Planning narrows down your selection. This doesn’t just work for blogging, it can be for any photoshoot. Do you have a branding shoot, birthday party photos, etc. Knowing the aesthetics or theme ahead of time gives you a streamlined focus.

Shop My Outfit Below

2. Pull

Now that you know what your theme for your shoot is, it should be easy to start selecting key items. Now this can involve several different things to consider . For example if you know you are doing a post for July 4th , you may want to pull out any red white or blue clothing to start.

When I start to pull I always start with pieces I love or new items purchased that haven’t yet been photographed in any previous shoots. Next, I build outfits around them that make sense for the theme of my content. I use my bed to lay everything out so that it’s easy for me to rotate pieces with different outfits. Some may prefer a rolling rack; whichever works for you is just fine.

Once you have some looks put together, I also make sure to color coordinate. This is important if you’re adamant about cohesiveness in your IG feed. (I don’t follow this too much) Try to make sure the colors in your clothing are represented in at least one other of your outfits. This way you don’t have a random pop of green when all the rest of your outfits are white. Unless you bring the green in with your background or another element.

Make-Up Tip: I recommend selecting one makeup look that will work for all of your looks. I usually opt for a neutral glam with a neutral lip. But if a more dramatic look works then go for it. If I use a bold lip, I save that for my last look

3. Place (Select Location)-

Now this step can go two different ways.

Theme Appropriate– If you have all garden party looks, it may make sense to shoot in a location with lots of foliage and flowers. Posing in front of a car garage may seem weird unless thats the juxtaposition you are going for. Or if your wearing a certain color, maybe you want your background to compliment the colors in your outfit. Atlantic Pacific blogger Blair Eadie is great at using this method.

Don’t forget to consider season. If your shooting a fall/winter dress but it’s still summer outside, maybe you opt for an indoor location that is theme appropriate. This idea simply means that your selected location compliments your outfits based on theme, season and overall vibe.

Neutral Location. Sometimes finding the perfect background can be a challenGe, especially if you have multiple outfits you are shooting. they may all require different types of background. This idea gives you more bang for your buck. It simply means you choose a very neutral location, so you’re outfit is the ultimate focus. Or it means selecting one location yields to the idea that you could have shot in multiple different locations. This also allows for you to shoot multiple looks within a small radius which will save you tons of time; and money if you pay a photographer by the hour.

When your on a time limit with your photographer, you don’t have time to wander aimlessly for the perfect spot. I have adopted this method in my last few photoshoots. All of these photos were in the same location within a block from each other. I was able to shoot 11 different looks this day, which all lend a different vibe. (See some pics from that shoot below)

P.S. Don’t forget to consider the weather when choosing a location. If theres a chance of rain you may need a backup indoor space. Or consider if it will be supper sunny, it affects exposure and shadows in your pictures.

4.) Pack- Packing your items once you’ve selected them is a very key point for allowing a smooth photoshoot. You can’t just throw everything in a bag. There has to be method to the madness.

Steam and hang any peices that easily wrinkle. This way it looks pristine for pictures (use a garment bag) Before you start packing, leave out the outfit you plan to wear first, and put that on so your ready upon arriving at your location. I always choose the most difficult outfit first to put on while at home. Maybe one that you may need help zippering, or a boot that laces up to the thigh (you don’t have 20 minutes to lace on the street while bystanders watch). This will save you so much time.

Suitcase

Pack any folded clothing likes jeans, or items that will maintain shape and not wrinkle, in a suitcase. A suitcase allows you to transport it to your car easily. It also makes it easy to change if you have a location you can change at. Sometimes I roll my suitcase with me so I don’t have to go all the way back to my car to change.

Shoes

I put all of my shoes into a duffle, with delicate ones kept in a duster bag. This includes styles like patent leather which may pick up color transfer, or shoes with jewels etc. Take it a step further, and line them up on the floor in your car for easy access

Accessories

Now this is the game changer right here. When I first started I used to put all my accessories in a little bag, but I would always forget to look in it while I was switching looks. Now i take the pocketbook I am wearing for a specific look and pack the jewelry, sunnies, headbands, belt, lipstick, etc. that I plan on wearing. This ensures that I don’t forget anything in the chaos of changing in my backseat in an 80 degree car. It also keeps me from having to run back to the car because i forgot my sunnies; which i did 90 percent of the time. I also pack extras in case I don’t like how it photographs; I can easily switch out.

Tip: If you will be changing in the car pack your car at night. This will save you time on the day of your shoot.

I hope these tips will help you in planning your next photoshoot. After dozens under my belt, i’d say I can atest to them being foolproof. Comment below if you will use any of these tips or have some you would like to add!

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