How I Prepare For Every Photoshoot
In the past few months, you'll have noticed that I am doing more photoshoots than ever before. In fact, this week I might have become a tiny bit overwhelmed by how many I had in the planning process at once! It's definitely hard to keep track sometimes - thank goodness for lists!
So today, I wanted to discuss exactly how I get ready for each shoot: what my routines are, what process I go through, and how I get myself prepared mentally, as well as creatively. If you're a photographer, this might give you a few ideas on how to get ready for your future shoots! If you're not a photographer, maybe this will just give you a more behind the scenes look at what I do!
The Day Before The Shoot
I'm pretty crazy in that I like to have all of my equipment charged and ready at least 24h before I head out the door, especially if its a really big day, like a wedding. I'll charge all my batteries, format all of my memory cards, and check that they're all working. I'll test my camera by taking one photo on each of my memory cards to ensure they're all ok, and then pop my camera bodies and any lenses I'll need into my camera bag. I'll also gather anything else that I might need. Here's a general list of what I take on pretty much each shoot:
Camera: Nikon D800
Camera (if I'm planning to shoot film): Nikon F100
Camera: Olympus Pen F
Lens - Nikkor 50mm 1.8 and sometimes Nikkor 70-200 2.8
Spare batteries - AA, AAA and camera batteries
Kodak Portra 400 Film - If I'm shooting film.
If I need to bring any props with me, I'll also get those ready the day before. That might include things like: clothes, shoes, blankets (to keep models warm!), bulldog clips to adjust clothing. It obviously depends on each shoot.
Most shoots also required a moodboard, so I'll make sure that I have that printed out the day before, and packed in my bag so that I can use it as reference. If I need to drive somewhere I've never been, I'll make sure the address and post code is in the Notes App of my phone so that when I get in the car, I'm ready to go.
Once all of that is done, I'll put it aside, and carry on with my day!
The Day Of The Photoshoot:
The advantage of getting everything ready the day before means that when it comes to the day of the actual shoot, I'm far more relaxed. The night before the shoot, I always make sure to have a good night sleep. I'll get up early, and have a big but healthy breakfast (as sometimes shoots mean we don't get much time to stop and eat at normal hours!).
Shoots can happen at any hour of the day, so if I've got the morning to myself, I'll have a normal work day, and generally take things quite easy. I try to always keep things very relaxed, as I do always have a few butterflies in my tummy before any shoot, no matter how big or small!
One thing that has become a bigger part of my routine recently, especially before really big photoshoots, is meditation. I love the app "Calm" and I'll spend 5 minutes listening to a guided meditation. I can't begin to tell you how big a difference these short 5 minutes make to my day. I'm calmer, able to think clearly, more confident and more creative.
As a general rule, I try to be ready to go 30 minutes before I have to leave. I'll move all my kit into the hallway (you might have seen me do this in vlogs!), and drive my car around to get it packed up. Then, all that's left to do is drive to the location! And yes, I tend to leave 10-15 minutes earlier than I need to - I'm paranoid and like to get everywhere early!
So there you go! I hope that gives you a bit of an idea of how I get ready for photoshoots. All it really involves is preparation, and organisation. If you're someone who tends to feel panicky, or nervous about projects you're invovled in, I definitely recommend getting ready in advance - you won't regret it!