behind the lens
Karen Kasperlik • December 19
Five Fundamentals for a Successful Photoshoot
In my previous life as a wedding photographer, I experienced many smooth, well-organized days of shooting. No issues. No delays. No scrambling on short order. I’ve also experienced the opposite — absolute chaos from lack of planning and unrealistic expectations on a day hinged upon logistics.
As an account manager and the resident photographer at TBX (read bio), I help plan and execute photoshoots for our clients to ensure their new web presence has imagery to support their overarching site goals and holistic strategy. Because, as we all know, a picture’s worth a thousand words. Am I right?
Now, let’s assume your website project is underway, and we’re geared to take some pretty pictures. First and foremost: we cover the details. Similar to most things in life, a little planning up front makes for a much better outcome.
And while each shoot comes with a unique set of circumstances and objectives, the following best practices help ensure every shoot runs without a hitch.
Part of our job as an agency is to help your team plan for an exceptional day of shooting, so our time together is efficient and yields the shots needed. That’s why a visit to your office or shooting location is critical as it gives both the photographer and the creative director a holistic sense of the space and your brand’s vibe. It also helps us nail down other need-to-knows, such as:
- Lighting/Gear Needs
- Shot List
- Specific Shot Locations
- Headshot Location
- Team Members/Talent Needed
- To-do Lists and Prep Notes
Once you, the client, receive a shot list and goal timeline for the day, you can begin internal preparations for your team and your space.
Think of a slightly more refined, polished version of your typical day. However, if you’re not normally a jacket and tie kind of team, don't forsake authenticity just for photos.
Be On Board
Having your staff’s buy-in will make the experience more positive, especially if headshots are on the list. Not everyone loves being in front of the camera — we get it. So if your team members will be in the photos, give them a head’s up (pun intended) — and remind them the new website is an important investment and an exciting opportunity to take part in. Leading up to the scheduled shoot, spaces can be decluttered and staged, new collateral or signage can be ordered, and employees can have a chance to look and feel their best. Plus, with the advanced notice, more people will likely volunteer for staged group shots rather than hide in the break room.
Does your team usually wear branded polo shirts with jeans or business casual attire? No matter your dress code, be sure to have cohesive clothing that speaks to your culture. And then, turn it up a notch. Think of a slightly more refined, polished version of your typical day. However, if you’re not normally a jacket and tie kind of team, don’t forsake authenticity just for photos. People will see right through it the moment they pay your office a visit. Keep in mind, this is going to be where prospective customers and employees get a first impression. That’s why it’s crucial to present yourself in a way that is true, while simultaneously putting your best foot forward.
If there’s a team huddle happening at the whiteboard or a product being crafted, you better believe we’re seizing the opportunity and snagging photos.
Is your team seven people strong? Not a problem! A smaller team simply means those same people will make an appearance in photos more frequently. Is your space bright and open with brand elements incorporated in the décor? Or, are we shooting at a shop with sparks flying in the background? No matter the answer, embrace it fully and we will too. Again, see note above about being authentic.
Some of the best shots happen spontaneously. For most companies, a shoot day still means business as usual. If there’s a team huddle happening at the whiteboard or a product being crafted, you better believe we’re seizing the opportunity and snagging photos.
Last but not least, we always strive to pair people shots with detail shots, creating balance throughout the collection of images. Therefore, trust our creative team to stage your team and find elements that best represent your brand — even if it falls outside of the timeline or shot list.
That’s a wrap! Have your own photoshoot secrets or stories? Share with us. Or if you’re game to create a new site and some shiny new photos to go along with it, hit us up!