Firstly, most important is to understand what the client is requiring from the photoshoot. Remember that the client is hiring you for your expertise and relies on you to ensure the brief is successfully met. The client has little to no actual knowledge about photography or the importance of light, metering and exposure. So, remember not to hesitate in advising the client what will work and what will not. Never just agree with the clients wishes if you know the end result will be disappointing.

Determine the theme of the shoot. Locations play a major role in bringing out the emotions and “the story” behind the image.  A romantic location will require a different feel and background to family portrait and this applies to all genres that the photographer needs to be aware of when being briefed prior to planning the photoshoot.

How the lighting influences the outcome of the Photograph

Lighting is key to every photographer, as it is the ability to work and understand light that will make or break the mood of the shot. Every genre will generally work with a different light in order to achieve the intended visual. A hi fashion photoshoot will be shot in different light to a family or portrait photo shoot. The light plays an important role in final outcome and feel. There are many different light sources depending on the location and nature of the shoot. To mention a few, we would need to understand the best lighting conditions for a beach photo shoot in comparison to a forest shoot under the trees. The same applies to indoor locations like some one’s home, or an old warehouse building.

Again, I stress the importance of understanding the brief of the client in detail, asking the right questions, and providing the client with sound advice on how the shoot will need to proceed in order to be a success. Not only is it the responsibility of the photographer to get the right shot by having a great knowledge of how to operate a camera, but it is the photographer who needs to take over all control of the of the planning that is involved.

What is essential in the buildup to a great photoshoot

Once all in agreement with the client as per meeting the brief, it is up to the photographer to consider the following:

  • Weather determines the look and feel, you cannot shoot swimwear on a rainy day…
  • Best time of day to shoot regarding the lighting at the location, or, again, for an indoor, low light location venue.
  • Researching the most suitable compositions to complement the brief and story board for the selected location.

The above is all crucial for the photographer, as this will make or break the shoot. These are simple and straight forward steps that any professional photographer will need to carry out.

Final note

For all those people who enjoy and wish to improve their photography, I am hoping that the above has provided some insight as to what is required. My advice would be to shadow a professional photographer, as questions and learn with your eyes on how  lighting and the location effects the shot, or, to attend an outdoor, or a flash and lighting workshop, that will explain and make what I have mentioned clear and possible to ensure the image portrays the intention.