How to Prepare for a Photoshoot (As a Photographer)

How to Prepare for a Photoshoot

While the bulk of the work might lie in clicking the shutter and taking perfect pictures, a photoshoot often involves so much more. And that is why it is necessary to be properly prepared for the occasion. It doesn’t matter how much of a pro the photographer is or how experienced they are when it comes to photoshoots. Getting prepared ahead of the shoot would always make things better and increase the chances of having everything run smoothly. Succeeding in the photography business goes beyond simply delivering high-quality photos to your clients. The kind of experience your clients have while working with you on set equally speaks volumes and would go a long way in establishing you as a photographer who knows his/her onions.


Whether this is your first time of having a photoshoot as a photographer or you’ve done a couple and are just in need of tips that would help you have a better experience next time, you are on the right page. In this post is a well-curated guide on how to properly prepare for a photoshoot. It doesn’t matter if it is a photoshoot right in the comfort of your studio or it’s a location photoshoot. Following this guide would make your next photoshoot a lot easier and also see to it that you not only meet but also exceed the expectations of your clients.


Top tips on preparing for a photoshoot


These tips would be divided into preparation procedures before the D-day and the procedures for the D-day. Let’s get right to it, shall we?


Before the day of the shoot

Ideally, you should have days, if not weeks’ notice before the photoshoot would be taking place. This means you have more than adequate time to prepare. Do it right by


Taking note of what equipment you would be using

Based on what kind of shoot it is and what location it would be taking place in, equipment for every shoot often varies. The kind of equipment that would be perfect for an outdoor shoot might not be suitable for an indoor one. So, you should make a list of which ones you would be needing for the shoot. This would also make packing much easier than if you were just putting the equipment together off the top of your head.


Charging everything that needs to be charged

Pay special attention to all the chargeable equipment you would be making use of. Make sure that everything from your batteries to your external flashes and everything else that can be charged is fully charged. Keep in mind that having one fully charged battery might not suffice. Always have some fully charged extra ones too.


Clearing your memory card

Imagine how terrible it would be when you are about to take the next shot and you get the notification that your memory card is full and there’s no extra one around. Don’t be that photographer. You should always leave as much space on your memory card as possible. Also, to be on the safer side, always go to every shoot with an extra memory card. You can never be too prepared when it comes to photoshoots.


Packing the day before

This is a no-brainer as it would ensure that you do not leave anything out. Even if the shoot would be in your studio, it helps to put all the equipment peculiar to the shoot in a specific location. It would keep you organized and more in control of the whole photoshoot.


Checking out the proposed location

If the shoot is going to be outdoor, as long as it doesn’t involve journeying for many hours, then you’ve got to go there. Take test shots during the hour of the day when the shoot would be taking place, know what lens would work best and which would not. Pick out backgrounds that you would be using and the ones you would be staying away from. Doing all this would also make you more confident during the shoot.


Doing some mental preparation

It always helps to do whatever activity sets your creative juices flowing. It could be checking out your previous works or the works of your photography mentor(s), it could be reading, listening to music, exercising, and so on. Whatever it is, you should do just that! It puts you in the right mood for the photoshoot.


Having a good night’s sleep

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep ahead of any event, talk less of a photoshoot. You don’t want to be nodding off instead of clicking the camera’s shutter. That is unlikely to happen but you get the drift. Getting adequate rest would make you relaxed and more energized to take on whatever the shoot brings.


The day of the shoot

Now, the D-day is here and if you’ve followed the tips above, you should be about 80% ready. Up your readiness to 100% by


Getting to the location early

You don’t want to be that photographer whose clients have to keep questioning on their whereabouts. Not only would it ruin your relationship with them, but it would also affect the overall mood of the shoot. Set off for the location of the shoot as early as possible so that you can be well relaxed and also have ample time to properly set up your gear if need be.


Going over all the details of the shoot

You could do this a day before the shoot or on the day of the shoot. Anyone that works for you is fine. Do you have any jottings of your conversation with them? Did the client make any special requests while they were booking your service? If yes, then you should review all this information and use it to give your clients a wonderful shooting experience. Making your clients feel special is one way to keep them coming back.


Putting your confidence hat on

Now that you’ve got everything under control, it’s time to get to the business of the day. Put your confidence hat on, do what you know how to do best and make sure to have fun while at it!



At the risk of sounding cliché, the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” is one that has to be slot in here seeing as it particularly rings true when it comes to photoshoots. A photographer that does not properly prepare for a photoshoot is simply setting up that photoshoot for failure. That shouldn’t be you. Put the tips above into practice and set up your next photoshoot for success!