At times, creating content can seem easy to those who aren’t familiar with the influencer industry, but it actually requires a lot of hard work! Producing and posting good content can be very time consuming. Before even pressing the shutter button, we need to research the location and techniques we’ll utilise for the photoshoot. Then comes the editing, posting and engaging - it can seem like the work never ends.
Since a big part of our job consists of creating content for ourselves, as well as other brands, you can imagine that after 4 years of doing this full time we have become quite the pros at planning photoshoots!
Planning is one of the most important stages of a photoshoot and the better you plan, the more successful your outcome. Now, there's always a chance that you might experience a hiccup or an unexpected change, but I have some helpful tips to best prepare yourself for your next photoshoot!
Develop a concept
Before doing any photoshoot you will need to have a good concept laid out. Going freestyle when it comes to creating content is just a recipe for disaster. What is the message behind your post? What do you want to portray? What do you plan on wearing? It can help to search for images to get a broad idea of what you want to create (I recommend browsing through Pinterest). These images will help you get an idea of the look, style, and mood you’re going for. Create a folder or set up a mood board where you can collect your finds. This will help you have a clear style for the shoot.
Choose the right location
Once you’ve gathered a bunch of great photos to use as a reference, it’s time to figure out where you want your photoshoot to take place. What vibe are you going for? What colors will be dominant in your picture (if you are going for something more colorful, I suggest using a location in nature, whereas the city is better for a street style look with dull colors).
If you are struggling with finding the right concept and location for your photoshoot, say no more, I’ve got you covered: How to Find Inspiration & Location for a Photoshoot
Pick your equipment
Now that you have a concept and your location decided, it’s important that you have the right type of equipment on your shoot day. I suggest preparing everything the day before so you don’t have to stress on the day itself. Some of the most important things you should take with you are: your (fully-charged) camera, different lenses, a tripod, extra memory cards (incase your’s gets full or isn’t working), props that you might need (umbrella, fruits, magazines, sunglasses - the list is endless) and your outfit(s)! Raquel likes to take photos of our outfits beforehand to know exactly what we’ll need to bring. This way we make sure we haven’t forgotten any accessories, jewelry, props, etc.
Check for the right time to shoot
If you ask us what the most important component of every photoshoot is, our answer would be: the timing! Golden hour (sunrise and sunset) is the best time of day for lighting. This is because the sun provides a soft, direct horizontal light illuminating the subject or landscape. Arrive at your location just before the sun is scheduled to rise or when it’s just about to set so that you have enough time to prepare everything. The worst time to take pictures is between 12PM and 2PM, as the sun is too harsh and with the lighting directly overhead, you’ll have to deal with a lot of shadows. Timing is not only important to get the perfect lighting but to also avoid big crowds. If you want less people in your final product, I suggest scheduling your shoot for early in the morning.
We give some some of our secrets about checking for lighting and working with lighting in our course ‘The Power of Instagram’, it might be worth taking a look if you still struggle with lighting.
Check the Weather
If you choose an outdoor location, make sure you check the weather in advance. It has happened so many times where we had everything planned out, but then saw it was going to rain which forced us to improvise. Be prepared and have a Plan B backup location.
Try different things to see what works
Once the day has come and it’s time to shoot, you should have everything on hand to create stunning pictures. Try different poses, outfits, expressions, and compositions throughout the shoot. Even if you’ve already managed to get your “perfect shot”, try something different. Sometimes the best photos come from spontaneous, unguarded moments.
If you are already out taking pictures I recommend creating more than just one post! This concept is called “content batching” and it’s one of the most effective ways to create content for your Instagram account. Instead of just taking a few photos think about taking some videos for reels, maybe some behind the scenes for stories or even drone shots of your shoot. While this may sound like a crazy amount of work in such a short period of time, it’s actually much easier than you think. Since you’re already on location with all your equipment, it will save time and helps you post more consistently. Just make sure to pack different outfits, various props and you’re good to go! Try different poses, vary your angles and try new expressions - you’ll notice that your followers won’t even know that you created all your content on the same day!!
This sums up my top tips on planning a photoshoot! I hope they were helpful and if you have other tips, feel free to share them with our community in the comments section!
Oh, and one more thing - it’s okay to feel silly when taking pictures! Give yourself permission to look a little (or very!) ridiculous. You’ll see that your photos will come out looking more natural. If you’ve already utilized some of my favorite editing apps which I introduced you to in my previous blog post make sure that you tag us @clublifedesign so we can reshare them in our stories! I can’t wait to see the content you create!