Updated: Oct 10, 2019
So during my last photo shoot session with the incredible Britt Smith of Britt Smith Photography, she suggested that I write a blog post about tips for other bloggers to use during their photo shoot day. I thought that was a great idea!!!! I'm always looking for ways to help my fellow bloggers out in any way that I can so here's some tips that I use for making my photo shoots go as smoothly as possible and organized:
Plan concepts ahead of time: If I know I want to shoot a blog about New Orleans, for example, I know that I need an image that represents the city. So I used a street car for my image latest blog post. I plan ahead of time by writing down the location I need the photos to be shot in for each blog posts. In order to do this, you must have your blog content planned out ahead of time. This helps you plan your concepts easily!
Lay out your wardrobe, accessories, etc., the night before: I lay everything out the night (sometimes day of) before the shoot. This helps me know what I still need to purchase or ensure that I don't leave anything at home, rushing to the shoot.
Arrive to your location early: If you're like me and use props for most of your photo shoot concepts, you need to arrive early, in order to set your props up that way, once the photographer arrives, you can go straight to work. You're paying the photographer so don't waste time on setting up props or scenes.
Have either written down or similar images of what you have in mind to show the photographer: I'm a lifestyle blogger, so I follow other lifestyle bloggers, brands, influencers and get tons of ideas from reading magazines. So I always show my photographer photos of how I want my pictures to look and then we create the magic to our own liking. Notice I didn't say that we create images just like the photo or magazine article. Get inspired by others content but don't copy them, make the images fit you.
Create concepts that go with your blog posts instead of just posing: I wrote a blog called Removing Gender Roles in 2019, and the images were of me at an old tire shop in New Orleans, holding a drill, "fixing" a tire. Now you don't see women doing that everyday.....EXACTLY the point I wanted you to take away from reading my blog post. Tell a story in your images that connects with your content. To see that blog post and the other images we created in that blog post click here: https://www.feliciatsimpson.com/blog/removing-gender-roles-in-2019
Put in the work: Don't expect your photographer to give you your concept ideas. Their job is to give you little direction and capture your moments, their job is not to be the mastermind behind your vision. I remember my first shoot with Britt, I was nervous, scared and had no real plans for the shoot, I vowed quickly that I would never be that way again! Since then, we have meshed so well together and according to her, "I spoil her" being prepared for photo shoots and what I think are crazy ideas and maybe me doing too much, she loves!!!!!
Now those were great tips above for the day of the photo shoot but here's a few tips that I want to share with you as a bonus that you should do before shoot day:
Scout your location: A week before my photo shoot, or when the thoughts come to mind, I go and scout (look at) the location where I want to shoot. I look at the exact location I want to use, I ask myself, what's in the area that I can shoot multiple concepts for other blog posts? Recently we shot more products and lifestyle images that needed grass more than anything for backgrounds so we shot at City Park. In 1.5 hours, I shot about six different concepts in one location. So go explore the area you want to shoot in and take notes. Ask yourself: What would be barriers on shoot day (i.e., rain, people walking past, busy rush hour in an establishment? Where can you change clothes (I use my car.....thank God for tinted windows lol)? How many concepts can you get in this location? This goes with planning your content. I can't stress that enough: PLAN YOUR CONTENT!!!
Decide what props you will need: I am the prop queen. I like to believe that comes from my theater background. Adding props to your images makes your images tell better stories. My car trunk is where I house my props (the back seat is my dressing room lol). If I'm writing a blog post about my favorite wines, either the location will be in my favorite winery where the props are already there to use, or I'm going to bring a wine bottle, a cheeseboard and a wine glass to add as props in my photo concepts. Make a list of each prop you will need with each concept and pack them as you pack your wardrobe and accessories. Adding props enhances your images. Have you seen my blog post about the new Always Infinity FlexFoam pads? I used a box of pads as my main prop and my boyfriend was a prop too lol.....check that blog post here: https://www.feliciatsimpson.com/blog/always-infinity-pads-with-flexfoam-review
Book your MUA (makeup artist) ahead of time: I do my own makeup now (thank God for YouTube tutorials and tons of practice) but at first, I used a MUA once I first started taking professional pictures for my blog posts. You should book your makeup artist at least three hours before you begin the shoot. If you're MUA is on set of the shoot then one hour before the photo shoot begins if you're going for a basic look.
Again, if you are a blogger, you should be prepared for your photo shoots and not solely rely on your photographer for any of your concept ideas. The photographer is there to capture your moments not make them for you. The most Britt has to do is tell me to, "Move your chin down"......."Move over to the left"........"Put that arm over there"........and she hilariously laughs whenever I have to walk to get a shot done cause you better know that I'm easily tripping all over the place smh. I hope these tips will help you on your next shoot day.