As with many things, being prepared for a photo shoot is an investment in time and money. There are many things to consider, and many factors that contribute to the success of your photos.
As with most things in life, being prepared ahead of time will make your shoot go more smoothly and help you to encounter far fewer problems with regards to locations, equipment, and people.
Before scheduling events, think about what types of locations and settings you are comfortable with shooting in. This can go a long way in determining what types of equipment you need. It can also help you to scout out good locations, so that when someone comes to you, you’ll be able to offer valuable suggestions.
If you like photographing in outdoor locations, consider the time of day, weather, terrain, and other hazards at the location that may impact the quality of shoots held there. Make sure to confirm that no permits are required to photograph in your location; if they are needed, obtain them as early as is convenient.
When ordering equipment, be sure to order well in advance of when you need to use it. In most cases, we recommend waiting until you have your equipment before scheduling any shoots. This will allow you to have plenty of time to get acquainted with the equipment – learning how to set it up, use it, and put it away in a professional and efficient method. It also gives you time to practice and see if you need more equipment before crunch time.
It is very common to photograph a wide range of ages, and everyone has special needs that you’ll need to consider when planning your shoot. Pay special attention to your clients and any requirements they may have. Take note of how many children will be involved, if any pets need to be included, etc. This may help you avoid planning a shoot in a location that isn’t easily accessible for everyone; some parks are not handicap accessible.
Several new photographers hit the ground running when it comes to setting up shoots and think about the logistics of planning the event later, but this often causes more harm than good. One of the best pieces of advice we can offer to beginners is that planning ahead can save you time and frustration in the long run, making you more successful and satisfied with the end result.