Photoshoot planning checklist

Jon Scott
Cody Scott Milewski

There are a lot of things that can go wrong on a photoshoot. Here is a useful checklist to avoid the most common mishaps.

Our checklist is organised into what to consider before the shoot, during and after the photoshoot.

Before the shoot (Pre-production)

Pre-shoot visit and planning
Arrange a pre-shoot location visit (known as a ‘recce’) with the photographer to help them prepare. Ensure pre-shoot visit is ideally between 2-4 weeks before the day of photoshoot. Ensure this timing is built into your timing plan.

Location permits
Seek permission from the relevant property owners in writing. Arrange security / access permits for all production team. Arrange parking permits.

Photoshoot dates
Arrange preferred dates for shoot and also arrange contingency dates in case of unsuitable weather conditions, or other reasons for cancelling preferred date.

Points of contact
Identify point of contact/representative to attend the shoot. Ensure all production team contact details are shared with client point of contact.

Photographer related
–Photography brief completed, including each individual shot list
– Photographer selected
– Photographer’s rights and fees approved
– Final schedule agreed
– Photographer booked

Models identified if required, sourced and booked.

Required props identified, sourced and booked.
Prop transportation arranged to be on location when required.

Health & Safety
Provide photographer with health & safety information for location to ensure production is compliant, e.g if specific PPE to be worn. If required, arrange a location induction with photography/film production representative can be arranged during pre-shoot visit.

Conduct a confidentiality assessment to determine rules and regulations.

Location preparations
Ensure location is clean and tidy for day of shoot.
If required organise a professional cleaning service.

Shoot (Production)

Shoot set-up
Allow photographer a minimum of an hour to arrive, clear security, set up and test equipment before shoot.

Shoot on-site requirements
Discuss and agree all on-site requirements by production team, e.g. access to power.

Shoot timings
Ensure adequate time is allowed for the type of shoot, i.e. allow for travel time, breaks between shots.

Break times
Ensure adequate space is arranged for production break times.
Agree food and drink arrangements for production team.

Shoot take-down
Allow photographer a minimum of an hour to pack up equipment after shoot.

After the shoot (Post-production)

Agree editing/selection process with photographer. e.g. full contact sheets to help you make your final selection.

Ensure selected images are compliant with confidentiality and health & safety agreements.

If the photographer is to undertake retouching, provide a brief on the requirements (removing elements, colour adjustments, etc).

Image file specification
Agree delivery formats with photographer, e.g. TIFF file type, RGB colour, 100MB file size. Agree and follow file name convention.

Agree file delivery method with photographer, e.g download link, file transfer.

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