Steps to Preparing for a Photo Shoot

How you prepare for your photo shoot will essentially depend on the type of shoot that you are doing that day.

From newborn photos to engagement announcements and weddings, there are a wide variety of settings that you may be working on for your upcoming shoot. Those who are just beginning in the photography industry may have some basic questions regarding how they should prepare for the photo shoot. As you receive money from your clients, they expect a certain level of professionalism and quality in their photos that you must deliver them.

To make the preparation process for the shoot as easy as can be, simply create and use a check list that helps you to prepare mentally and by gathering up the essentials that you will need for the day.

Your Photo Shoot Equipment


The day before the big photo shoot, you will want to gather up all of the equipment that you will be bringing with you.

It is very important to make sure that your camera batteries are changed or charged up so that they do not die during the middle of the shoot. Depending on the shoot, you may opt to bring either one or two different camera bodies with you. Larger events may call for two cameras while portraits may only require one. Select the lenses that you would like to use for the shoot, including wide angle lenses, a prime lens and more.

Cleaning Your Equipment

While you may not think that your camera, accessories and other equipment really get dirty, it is easily for dust to build-up over time. To prepare for your client photo shoot, you will want to clean your equipment effectively. Clean the end of each lens as well as the lens cap. You should also clean the camera sensor to remove any dirt and dust for the best quality photographs possible.

Visualizing Your Location

Depending on the type of event or lifestyle portraits that you are shooting, you may be working at different locations and venues that you are not entirely familiar with. A few days in advance, you will want to visualize the location that you will be shooting at, the type of people that you are photographing and if there will be any type of theme to go along with the photos. This will enable you to come up with some great ideas of pictures and moments that you would like to capture in certain areas of the shoot location. You may visualize what lenses you would like to use to best capture a certain shot, if the lighting will be sufficient enough and at what angle you should photograph your subjects.


As a photographer, it is likely that you fill up your camera’s memory cards quite quickly.

However, you will want to be sure that enough space is available on your memory cards in order to complete your shoot for the day. To prepare for the shoot, download your memory cards content to your computer in advance to back up the photos that you have taken. Once backed up, you can format your memory cards so that they are ready to use for your upcoming shoot.

Getting To Know Your Clients

It is important to make your clients feel comfortable and special during their photo shoot. You will not want them to simply feel like a test subject and as if you have no real connection with them. When planning the shoot, get to know your subjects on a personal level. Carry your notes with you to the shoot so that you are easily able to remember their names and small details about them that can truly help you out during the photo shoot.

Arriving Early

The very best way to prepare for a photo shoot is by arriving at your shoot location early. You will want to be there at least 15 minutes in advance, if not earlier. Arriving early gives you the time to set up all of your gear without wasting your clients valuable time. You will also be able to walk through the location to get a feel for the type of pictures that you would like to capture there.

Other steps that you may want to take when preparing for your upcoming photo shoot include checking the directions to the location in advance, think outside of the box for the theme and to reset your camera back to its standard settings. With these tips and more, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect photo shoot for both you and your clients.


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