Tips for managing your first professional photo shoot

The photo shoot is a great opportunity to showcase your photography skills with your clients. But before that happens, you first have to plan it thoroughly to ensure a smooth operation.

The process can be daunting. That’s why we listed down 7 tips on how you can easily manage your first professional photo shoot.

Tips for managing your first professional photo shoot

1. Choose a good photo shoot location

Location means everything in photography. That’s the reason it’s a must to find a good one.

The characteristics of a good location are comfortable, accessible for transportation, and fits the theme of your photo shoot. It’s a bonus if you can find a location that has an abundant source of natural light.

Find these all in one location and you’ll surely impress your clients with your good taste.

2. Photography equipment

In starting up, you don’t necessarily need to use tons of equipment. You just have to own a reliable camera and compatible lenses.

When it comes to the camera, the first type that comes to mind is a DSLR camera. It’s undeniably one of the most popular choices. But there are some who hesitates to use it because of its price.

Truth is DSLR cameras are not all expensive. There are DSLR cameras under $500 and their quality is still superb and comparable to other expensive models.

If you’re not a fan of DSLR cameras, there are tons of different choices – ranging from full-frame to mirrorless cameras. You just have to choose depends on your skill level, needs and the type of photography you’re working on.

Lenses are just as important as the camera. We all know that cameras are designed for a specific purpose. But with the help of lenses, you’ll able to maximize the functionality of your camera and, at the same time, make your camera more versatile in shooting different subjects.

Most cameras include basic kit lenses when you purchased them. It’s best to get the most out of it first before buying new ones. It may be basic but with the right technique and position in the shooting, you’ll get the quality you need.

3. Get lighting samples

Once you have a camera it’s recommended to visit your photo shoot location and do light testing. It’s important to do this at the exact time that the actual photo shoot will be held, so, you’ll immediately know all the challenges you may experience during the photo shoot.

This testing will give you ample time to identify the areas that have good lighting. And for those areas that need improvements, you can work on a different strategy to still make it look appealing.

4. Shoot in manual

If you want to get the most out of your camera, you have to learn how to use the manual mode. The manual mode gives you more control and flexibility in shooting your subject.

There are 3 things to remember in manual mode – aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The aperture is the one allowing the light to pass through the lens. The shutter speed refers on how fast the shutter will close and open at a given setting. And the ISO measures the camera’s capability to capture light.

When these 3 settings combine perfectly, you’ll have one great exposure.

If you’re not comfortable in tweaking the 3 settings every time you shoot, you can still use the manual mode just by setting the aperture ring at its maximum level while the ISO set at the neutral.

Once you get the hang of it, you can slowly adjust the 3 settings and do a testing shoot.

5. Plan your shots

Delays are unavoidable. No matter how you plan it there’s always something that will pop-up and ruin a well-laid plan. The only thing we can do is to prepare for it.

So, for this part of planning you have to list down your concept, props, and wardrobe (if there’s any), and the poses for your subject. For the poses and concepts, it’s best to list down alternatives as well to ensure you have a backup plan if any of those didn’t work well.

6. Look out for distractions

Aside from delay, distraction is also one of the things a photographer must prepare themselves during the photo shoot. Photographer didn’t notice these distractions at first because their attention is sharp-focused on their subject. They’ll just figure it out when they see the result.

One thing you should know about distractions, they are difficult to edit. So, to avoid these it’s best for you to look around the scene before the photo shoot and clear all unwanted distraction.

Distraction comes in many forms. It can be small like trash or as big as a person.

7. Be flexible during your photo shoot

In every event, unexpected things can always happen at the last minute. This is the reason flexibility becomes one of the traits that every professional photographer should possess. This is to guarantee the clients that no matter how difficult the unexpected situations are, the photographer can always handle it with ease and confidence.