Photos are at the heart of the Style Blogging business. You need photos to share on your blog, social media, communication content, and email campaigns. The heartbeat of the style blogger's business is your blog-- It's where the majority of your style photos will end up. Because photos are everything to style bloggers, so are photoshoots! Whether you are working with a professional photographer or you have a friend taking pictures for you, photoshoots require preparation in order to be successful. This is a 2-part post and my recommendations will be based on working with a photographer.
Determine how much time is allotted to your photoshoot?
Will your photoshoot be 1 hour or 4 hours? This matters as it will determine how much time you have to change outfits and how the flow of the shoot will go in general. It may also determine how many outfits you can include. Some photographers give a specific number and others allow you to get in as many outfits that you can in the time allotted. It is important to ask up front so you can prepare accordingly.
Will you be the only client?
I've done photoshoots where I am the only person working with the photographer and I've done photoshoots where I rotate taking pictures with other bloggers. Each situation requires different preparation. If you are the only client there may be more flexibility. Check with your photographer before your shoot.
Plan your outfits
I mean this literally. Lay out all your outfits, including shoes and accessories. I like to lay my outfits out on my bed. Once you do this take a picture on your phone so you have it as a reference. I take the pictures in the order I want to wear my outfits. It may seem like it doesn't matter what outfit you wear first but you really want to think about all the details. For example, you may want to take pictures of all your dresses first-- and jeans or pants last. You also need to think about what outfits you absolutely have to get a photo of. What if it starts raining in the middle of the shoot and it has to be postponed? If you prioritize, then you'll have the photos of the outfit you need. You have to think of all the little things that may come up unexpectedly. Another tip is, I put the entire outfit on one hanger and my shoes in a gallon ziplock bag. I poke a hole in the ziplock and hang it on the hanger of the corresponding outfit. I know it sounds like a lot of work but it helps to be organized.
Have a backup plan
Always prepare more outfits than you need. You never know if you are going to accidentally smudge an outfit or get something dirty. This happened to me when I was wearing a pair of white jeans. It was my first outfit and when I got out of the car my leg rubbed against the frame of the car door and I had a huge stain on the leg of my pants. Needless to say that outfit was out. Having a backup outfit would have come in handy. In fact, if your photoshoot allows for 5 outfits, bring 6 or 7.
Learn how to edit on the spot
Despite all your planning you may end up wanting to change something on the spot. While you are at the shoot you may decide that you want to wear a red pump with an outfit instead of the pink one you planned to wear. Or maybe you want to swap out a necklace for another. Learn how to adjust and edit as inspiration hits you. I always bring 3-4 extra pairs of shoes and various accessories. I usually stick to my outfit plan but there have been a few times where I decided to swap out things at the last minute.
Think about your editorial plan
When do you plan on posting your photos? You should schedule your photoshoot with your blog schedule in mind. Make sure you know what the timeline is for getting your pictures back. Timelines vary from photographer to photographer. I have received pictures back as fast as 2 days and as long as 2 weeks after the photoshoot. If you need quick turnaround, find out what the cost is for a rush delivery.
For 6 more tips on how to prep for a photoshoot, read Part II. What tips do you have for prepping for a style blogger photoshoot?