1.Theme or concept
What needs to be photographed? The subject of the shoot can be a product, service or a project. What sales initiatives will these images fulfill? What features, traits or viewpoints need s to be highlighted? Sketching, drawing and dreaming about it certainly helps. Carrying a book around to jot down ideas as they occur is also effective because ideas can escape your mind if not written down.
Once you know exactly what the client needs, the first step is to create an estimate for them, quoting costs for every factor and all manpower involved in the shoot. You must be very detail oriented when putting the budget together because once the client agrees to the final budget you present, anything you miss will either come out of your pocket or surprise the client as an additional expense. Use this estimate to make a production checklist to work off of. It should include photography creative and usage fees, the expenses for models, hair, makeup, wardrobe, travel (if applicable), assistants, catering, props, equipment rental, location fees, and post-production fees.
3. Preproduction process
Time is money, therefore it saves money if you are extremely prepared for the shoot. In the beginning, a shot list may take the form of a scrapbook with photos, notes, printed web pages, setup diagrams, and roughly illustrated concepts for reference. But as one grows as an artist, they transition from a physical shot list to a purely mental one. With enough experience shooting all kinds of people, styles, locations and lighting, you’ll have enough expertise to let your instincts guide you.
Decide on what type of personality do you want the subject to project. A model can either make or break the shoot. Evaluate what other talents the model possessing can help execute the campaign better. Models can be acquired trough agencies, websites or even groups on Facebook. Since posting casting calls and getting replies is convenient. Clients often like to be a part of the casting process.
If you don’t have a glam team that can give the flawless and professional touch to the project, simply ask the agency that represents the talent to put you in touch with one. A wardrobe stylist, a makeup artist and hair stylist are indispensable part of a photo shoot.
Construct a mood board and list options of poses and lighting that are suggestive of the theme. The location of the shoot will play a big part in how well the photo shoot is executed depending on whether its an outdoor or indoor shoot. Figuring out the lighting arrangement in advance is recommended.
Staying in touch with the whole crew and the providers of the equipment rented out is paramount since the looming possibility of someone or something being unavailable can drastically change the shoot or delay it.
Post production can be just a hassle free color correction or a time consuming task of Photoshop depending on the concept. Every photo shoot has post production process unique to it as a certain stylistic endeavor is different.