In need of photos for your website, portfolio, or just looking for a fun and creative activity to do this weekend? A photography shoot doesn’t have to be a stressful, time-consuming, or even costly ordeal.
Here are 8 simple tips to prepare for your next professional photo shoot in no time.
1. Establish an intention for the shoot.
The energy of your photo will come across more than the composition or the landscape. Before the day, contemplate your intention: Where is the photo going to go? What are you going to use it for? Who will see it?
It's important to establish an intention for your shoot before choosing your location and outfit. Look through magazines for inspiration, poses, ideas, and themes that resonate with you.
2. Think of locations that you can access for free.
A nearby lake, mountain, local gardens, hiking trail, park, museum or warehouse space can be the perfect setting for an unbelievable photo shoot.
3. With landscapes, look for opportunities to play and create visual distinctions.
There is so much available to you in a landscape. You can find composition through natural curves and lines. You can look around for big boulders, fallen stumps, waterfalls, and elements that can contrast the shape of the human body. Allow yourself to play.
4. Natural lighting is your greatest resource and friend.
Take off early on a clear morning for photos that have a soft, peaceful glow. If you desire a more dramatic photo shoot, seek afternoon light in places that bring out silouhettes, shadows, contrast, and a golden tone.
5. Work with the light.
Angle your face towards the light source 45 degrees to capture that natural luminescence. If you want to highlight half of your face or body, turn 90 degrees from the light source.
6. When choosing your outfit, think about it's relationship to your background.
Prints can be statement pieces against solid backgrounds, but distracting in other settings. It's always a safe bet to bring a solid outfit just in case. If allowed, bring several outfit changes and any other props or accessories that inspire you.
7. Pack smart!
Bring water, a towel, and a small snack for sustenance and hydration.
8. Optional: Find a photographer whose work you admire.
It's probably helpful if your photographer has an appreciation or understanding of the topic you're capturing. But more importantly, you want someone with whom you can feel natural. If you feel uncomfortable, the camera will tell.
You can find amazing photographers on a budget, but if you don’t have the funds to hire someone, no problem! Ask an artistic friend or family member to play your photographer for the day!