How to Plan Your Photo Shoot

Behind the scenes intern produced photo shoot

How to Produce a Photo Shoot with your In-house Communications Team

The need for a steady supply of photography and creativity in communicating a business is at an all-time high. With so many ways to connect with customers, the sheer volume of pictures needed to support the storytelling can be overwhelming for any business.

In preparing my interns for working in communications, I discuss the need to be able to confidently produce and participate in a photo shoot if the budget is not there to hire a professional. The goal: to create a cohesive campaign of images that the company can use for social media channels and marketing materials. This season, I invited aloka, a soft goods company based in Atlanta, to let us shoot their beautiful quilts and pillows.

In doing so, my team learns how to produce a shoot for a real company— from preparing a shot list, to styling scenes, to editing images— and gets experience in working together to deliver on deadline. Aloka gets to use the images. A win-win!

In November, our shoot took place at a country house situated on 94 acres in Bishop, Georgia among horse farms.

I visited the location prior so there were no surprises and we could pull inspiration photos beforehand based on where we were shooting. We decided to focus the shoot outside in the pasture, so our priority was to find the best lighting and to set up our products there. 

While my photography intern found her shot, the other interns worked to style the next setting.

Our shoot took a total of four hours, including the drive to the location. Working within parameters like time (in this case my interns had to head back to class) helps to focus the work.

I assigned one intern to be the “behind the scenes” photographer, capturing our work in progress on her iphone for this blog post, but also to post on social media channels of our work for aloka.

Here is a checklist of things you should have prepared for your next photo shoot:

  • Styling props, including extra jewelry, scarves, hats, shoes and in our case, because this was a fall/winter shoot, a few extra sweaters (which made all of the difference)
  • Someone with a manicure if you plan for hand shots
  • Water, sunscreen, a few protein snacks and Claritin if you’re shooting in a hay field!
  • Confirm camera backup battery for the photographer (nothing like being thirty minutes from town and no charge)

Check out the below images to see a glimpse of our final product shots!