How to Prepare for a Big Shoot

Last updated on: 2020


Hi, my name is Monica, and my life is a little crazy. I am a professional photographer at Taylor and Pond! That means I’ve captured amazing photos for some of the biggest brands in beauty. Let’s talk about shoot preparation for those days when you’re doing a BIG shoot for a client. It’s important to prepare, assess the risks, and be ready for anything!

Before we jump in, let’s discuss the process of shoot preparation.

  1. Creative brainstorming. We need to have a plan.
  2. Pitch our idea and plan to the client.
  3. Prepare for shoot day!

Grab your backpacks my photo beauties, we’re packing, it’s shoot preparation!

The little things:

Sure you have the models, the makeup artist, and the hairstylist, but the little things of shoot preparation are the most important when planning a successful shoot day. If you are doing a shoot offsite, you should pack as if no one has anything for you to use. That means blue tape (to make your spots), nipple pads for the models (lol nipple pads), printed shot list, and you can never go wrong with some extra hair ties.

The big things:

You need to bring a camera and lenses, but it’s almost best to bring a backup for EVERYTHING. Some things are out of your control. It is always best to come prepared and have backups. My go-to list includes two camera bodies, two lenses, three batteries, five camera cards (I’m very extra and also paranoid), AA batteries, an external hard drive, and a reflector.

The things in between:

The photographer is the glue of the shoot. It is important to stay calm and professional, even when things awry, “fake it till you make it” attitude. There is a lot of moving parts that are included in this shoot. There are also many people playing different roles. As a photographer who has done shoots for different clients, remaining calm is the only way to ensure a successful shoot.

After the shoot:

Immediately organize and back up your files. I like to backup my files on not only my computer but also on an external hard drive as well.  It is important to get the Instagram handles from your models and shoot staff so you can tag each other and continue networking with the locals in your industry.

Overall, you’ve got this! After you’ve taken care of the details, you can focus on the creative. You might even have fun and get some time to do “creative freedoms.”

*All photos in this article were taken by Taylor & Pond for Lawless.

Interested in learning more photo tips? Check out our Photography category to read more!


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Monica Lloyd