The creation of beautiful images doesn’t start when the shutter clicks. There’s a lot of preparation on both the photographer and client’s part. What they do to prepare for a custom portrait session can make or break a beautiful image. And since that’s the ultimate goal for all parties involved, here’s my Top 5 ways to prepare for a photo shoot, whether your the client or photographer.
CLIENT (PET OWNER):
- Have your pet bathed or groomed the day before or morning of the shoot. A quick brushing and face wiping may be done at the start of the shoot to ensure they look their best.
- Consider buying your pet a new collar if their current one is not in good shape, or have them not wear one at all.
- A short walk before the shoot is useful in calming your pet, allowing them to be in a more submissive mood when the shoot begins.
- Typically, treats are used to engage your pet, so be clear of any food allergies or other diet restrictions your pet may have. You may offer treats for the photographer to use if your pet is picky about food.
- Bring out their favorite toys. Incorporating these in the photography process encourages your pet to be themselves while interacting in a playful manner with the photographer.
- Clean your gear. There’s nothing worse than a beautiful shot that was ruined by a huge piece of dust on your mirror or dirt on your lens. Even if you’re able to fix it in photoshop, it’s something that can be easily avoided.
- Charge and stock your batteries. How embarrassed would you be if you were shooting and your camera just stop working halfway through the session? Or you’re getting some great shots at sunset, using your flash to fill, and the batteries die. Without another charged battery or extra pack of AA’s, you’re forced to end the shoot. Not cool.
- Check out the location beforehand. If you’re shooting somewhere you’ve never been, go there so you can visualize the shoot (extra points if you go during the time of day you’re scheduled to shoot at). Who knows, you may come up with a creative shot idea before the actual shoot.
- Look for inspiration. Browsing through your favorite photographer’s websites, magazines or Pinterest board will spark your creativity and give you ideas going into the shoot.
- Get comfortable with the client and the subjects. When subjects are not comfortable, their expressions show it. Take the time before you begin shooting to ask your client how they’re doing, answer any last minute questions and ensure them that it’s going to be a fun shoot. For pets, introduce them to your camera, play with them for a bit, pet them, and give them a few treats before you stick that big, weird contraption in their face. They’ll behave more naturally and be more willing to do what you ask.
There are several other ways you can prepare for a photo shoot, but hopefully, these top 5 tips will help my clients, their pets, and my fellow photographers feel more confident and excited for their sessions. Follow these suggestions, and you’re well on your way to a super fun session!
Got some of your own tips and tricks on how to prepare for a photo shoot? Share them!!