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Keys to Prepare for a Photoshoot

Whether you're aiming to make a career out of photography or are just trying to hone your craft, knowing how to organize for a productive photoshoot might come in handy.

Before you even get to the place, the photoshoot has already begun in earnest. Preparation may seem like a waste of time, but it can end up saving you a lot of time and energy and ensuring that you have everything you need to take beautiful photographs when you get there.

Here are a few things you can do before going to ensure a smooth photo shoot.

Things to Bring

The type of shot you're performing and the desired impact will determine the bulk of the gear you'll want to bring.

But there is some equipment that is always useful to have on hand, regardless of the type of photographs you plan to take. When taking pictures of people, a silver reflector can be a very useful tool. With the use of a reflector, the light may be directed back onto the subject's face, creating flattering, even lighting with few shadows. Bring a fill flash with you just in case. With a fill flash, you can eliminate shadows even in strong sunlight.

The use of a wide-angle lens is highly recommended if you plan on taking environmental photos that incorporate elements of the surrounding area. Wide-angle lenses aren't ideal for close-up portraits because of the distortion they introduce to the subject's face. Instead, use a regular lens, zoom lens, or prime lens, if you have access to one. The standard portrait lens length is between 50 and 85 millimeters, however, a 70-200mm zoom is also popular for full-frame cameras.

You should clean the camera body and any lenses you plan to use. Make sure your memory cards are empty and that you have a spare one handy, and don't forget to pack additional batteries.

B&H has tons of photography equipment with reviews to get you started.

Camera Settings

Before you leave the house, you should clear the settings on your camera. Because of this, you won't have to worry about snapping pictures in the wrong setting by accident.

You should shoot in whichever mode makes you feel the most at ease, however, many photographers believe that the aperture priority mode is best suited for portraiture. You have direct control over the depth of field when you use the aperture priority mode, which enables you to simply modify how much of the image is in focus. This mode is particularly useful for taking portraits. To achieve gorgeously blurred backgrounds, choose a large aperture or work with a prime lens that has a fast maximum aperture, such as a 50mm f/1.4. You might even get some bokeh in the shot if the lighting is just right.

Getting Ready for the Photo Shoot

Before you head out the door to a photo shoot, here are a few general pointers you should always keep in mind and follow.

Examine the Current Weather Conditions

If you check the weather forecast, it will help you plan for the lighting conditions, and it will also give you a better sense of what kind of gear you should bring. It can also serve as a rain watch for you!

Get there early

Make sure you go to the location in plenty of time to do some location scouting and locate some good shooting spots before the shoot begins. Who could say? You can even stumble onto some secret treasures that are stashed away out of the way.


Before you begin your photo shoot, you should make an effort to visualize at least a handful of the photographs that you want to obtain. While you are shooting, this will provide you with some concentration and direction, and it can also be of assistance if you become stuck.

Look Up Some Poses

It is highly likely that the people you photograph will not have any idea how to strike a stance; therefore, it is your responsibility to instruct them. Do some research on different postures that can be found online in advance, and determine which ones you want them to try out so that you can point them on the correct path.

Mr. Dasante on Instagram has great ideas for poses if you need some inspiration for an upcoming shoot.

Boost Your Own Performance

Last but not least, when you are driving to the shooting, you should make yourself mentally prepared. Get yourself pumped up for the shoot by getting a cup of coffee or listening to some music that fits the mood of the situation. To ensure that everyone stays energized throughout the event, you should probably bring some water and snacks with you.

Check out Your Eyes

The eyes are typically the most noticeable feature in a photograph, thus focusing on them is a must. Because of the shallow depth of field created by a wide aperture, it is essential that the subject's eyes be in focus.

Include Some Context

Including some of the setting's environs in your photographs can help to establish a sense of place and provide a sense of movement and depth to the images you capture. To give your photographs more depth, look for intriguing accessories to use, such as an old fence, artwork on a building, or a unique bench.

Mind the Light!

When shooting photographs outside, it's essential to pay attention to the sun's position in the sky. This will indicate the best direction to shoot from in order to avoid creating harsh shadows. To lessen the appearance of shadows, try taking pictures when the sun is on your side in the morning and evening and behind you during the middle of the day.

Capture images in RAW format

For the most leeway in post-processing, use RAW format while shooting. If the exposure is off, you can fix it by adjusting the white balance. Some photographs might have a lighter and softer appearance by being intentionally over-exposed.


Lay everything out the night before to check what you have, then load the suitcase the next day. This can spare you from rearranging your bag last minute because you forgot something.

Don't panic if you forget something when you arrive. Professionals aren't immune. Photography requires improvisation in case something is forgotten or doesn't go as planned.

By preparing ahead of time, you'll make the session run more easily, be less anxious, and be able to focus on shooting stunning winners.

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