How to plan a perfect photo shoot

Today after work, I have a photo shoot with my dear colleague and friend, Katerine. She has been my photographer so far on this blog, and I really like her work.

As fun as it is, a photo shoot is still a lot of work (for a small fashion blogger like me, I mean). On my first photo shoot, I was nervous and I think it showed. I was not organised, I didn’t have any directions and I didn’t do research. Now, I have done a few photo shoots and with the experience, I know how to use my time (and my photographer’s) efficiently.

Here are my tips to make the most of your upcoming photo shoot!

General Idea

Find what would be your main vision : What would you like your pictures to be? Is it a day-time or a night-time photo shoot? Indoor or outdoor? Something with an urban vibe, in the middle of the city or something more romantic, in the country side? Do you like bright colors, or something monochromatic? All those questions will help you define the next steps.

I love my city, so I usually go with the urban vibe. This time, I wanted something outdoors, very colorful. Something that will scream summer but will still be fashionable.

What is the purpose?

Do you have a collab with a brand and you need to showcase an item? Do you know for which blog post you want to use your pictures? If not, it’s okay too. It means you will use the pictures for the general idea of it.

I don’t have a collab with a brand, but I bought a really nice orange pleated skirt at Target that I would like to wear in this photo shoot. Usually, I like to write a blog post about my outfit (giving credits to the brands I wore) but I also use the pictures for other blog posts as well, so I like to have variety in the pictures.  

Find your location

Now that you have your general idea, you should be ready to look for the location. Maybe you already walked by the location that you want (if so, that was easy!) but if you have an idea but you are not sure where to look at, use the internet. Reaseach by hashtag (or location) on Instagram. It worked amazingly well for me. Ask bloggers in your city, or look at their instagram or blog post to see if you would find something you would like. It doesn’t have to be that specific space, but maybe somewhere around could be perfect for your needs.

I was really inspired by all the colors in the Instagram account of Color Me Courtney for this one. I don’t want to do the same thing as her (and I could never! This girl is a genius at what she does! In fact, you can see her in the Microsoft Surface ad on TV.) but I wanted to get that vibe. I looked online if I could find colored walls in Montreal and found the Champ Libre RoyalMount. I looked for the location and hashtag on Instagram and what I found was perfect for that photo shoot.

**Always check in person before the photo shoot. You never know if the space is still open to the public, if it’s not ruin by graffitis or else.

Gather up everything

Okay! You have your idea, your purpose, your location, now the fun begins!

If you have a specific item you want to showcase in the photo shoot, choose clothes and accessories to complete your look. To be sure that you won’t forget anything the day of the shooting, MAKE A LIST. I will never scream it loud enough, people, make lists!! Which shoes do you want to wear? Which pants? Which shirt? Do you need to bring a strapless bra for this dress? Do you need accessories? A nice handbag, bracelets, a hat?

Write it down. It will help to visualize the whole thing.

Same thing goes for hair and make up: do you need to show a pair of earrings? Then wear your hair up! Do you have a lipstick the same color than your shirt? Don’t forget it! Write it down!

The day of the photo shoot

Have fun! Try new things! Smile in some shots, look serious in others. Stand still, move, twirl, jump and yes, sit down for a few shots. Even for plus size bloggers, it’s possible to sit and be fashionable. It all depends on the angles. Some are more flattering than other, but in the end, it’s all a matter of preferences. Like this picture:

I really loved that picture, but my best friend (and stylist) really didn’t. I thought it was nice to have a picture with a plus size blogger is sitting, but I didn’t want to show my rolls or anything, so it was perfect!

But at the same time, I realize that I look short (yes, watching ANTM for years makes myself a great critic) because my legs are not extended, and we don’t really see the garment very well, but I liked it.

It’s not the best picture to send a brand if your job was to showcase the jumpsuit (let’s say), so you have to find another picture where you are standing (or walking, or going down the stairs…) to be able to present the jumpsuit a little better.

Now, do you feel confident you can rock your next photoshoot?

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