How to Prepare for a Photoshoot as a Photographer

Feeling stuck when it comes to preparing for your next photoshoot? Whether you’re a beginning photographer or you’ve got a couple years of experience, it can be easy to slack on preparation for your sessions. And if you’re just starting out, you may not even know HOW to best prepare! That’s why I’m here to teach you just that: how to prepare for a photoshoot as a photographer! Ready?! Let’s go!

girl wearing hat and smiling

Preparing Your Clients

Before YOU physically prepare for your shoot, you’ve gotta prepare your CLIENTS well! If they’re not ready for the shoot or in the right headspace for it, the photos likely won’t turn out suuuuper great or they won’t feel as comfortable. That’s why these next few things are SO important when it comes to preparing for a photoshoot:


1. Set expectations from the get-go on your website!

One of the FIRST things you can do to prepare every single client for your shoot is to outline your process on your website!! 

I personally have an “Experience” page where I go over what it’s like to work with me. This makes it so that the FIRST time a potential client visits my site, they already know what it’ll be like workin’ with me. They’re prepared from the get-go before they even inquire!!

Now, I don’t give away TOO much. My booked clients are who I give all the good info + knowledge to, so this page is mostly filled with brief explanations + the basics.

On this “Experience” page, I mention a few things:

  • The feelings they can expect to feel during their shoot with me
  • Suggestions for what to wear (very briefly – I help clients with outfits in way more depth once they book me!)
  • What to expect after the shoot
  • How I’ll help with picking a location

Having info on your site about what it’s like to work with you will help set up client expectations right from the start!

girl with camear

2. Set expectations through emails once they’re booked.

Before your session, you want to make sure you’re communicating with your clients so they know what to do, where to go, how to pick outfits, etc.

The best way to do this is to create a few automated emails, and send them manually for each client. OR make it even easier by setting up scheduled workflows in your CRM! I personally use Honeybook and send out all my pre-session emails right through it. Here’s a link to try Honeybook & get 50% OFF your first year!! One email could be a list of locations, one could be an outfit guide, one could be questions for them to answer for you to get to know them more. Send these in the months/weeks leading up to your session!

Check out this blog post all about how to walk your clients through what to expect via emails, guides, & more! These steps provide the perfect formula for you to create a relaxed session for your clients.

couple cuddling by red rocks

3. Help your clients choose a location that feels authentic to them!

You can do this by creating a location guide with some of your favorite spots to shoot in the area. This will save you sooo many emails back and forth picking a place to shoot! I always tell my clients to use this as a ‘guide’. To tell me what they like about the location TYPE and we will find the perfect spot for them. I encourage my clients to find a location that reflects their story and interests!

couple smiling and looking at each other

4. And finally, give your clients outfit inspo!

Make sure they know that it’s most important to be comfortable and dress like themselves.

Again, check out this blog post for more specific details on helping clients pick outfits!

couple walking in forest

Preparing Yourself

Now, it’s time for YOU, the photographer, to prepare yourself for your shoot! Here are the steps you should go through before you leave the house for a shoot:


1. Check your gear, then check it again!

Double check that you have enough memory cards, charged batteries, and that the rest of your equipment is working properly! You don’t want to have to run to Walgreens mid-session because you only brought one memory card (yikes!).


2. Stalk your clients on social media and MEMORIZE their names!

For some reason I often struggle with guys’ names. You don’t want to say the wrong name mid-session and have it be one of their ex’s name or something awful! Or get through part of the session and realize you forgot a name, so you have to awkwardly ask!


3. If you worry about remembering prompts:

Snap some photos of inspiration from past shoots or Pinterest on your camera so you can quickly scroll back a few photos when you get stuck!

couple holding hands and walking on beach

Aaaand now, you’re all ready to go for your next photoshoot!! You’re going to rock it!

If you want more good info on how to make the shoot itself super relaxed, go read this blog post all about client experience next!


girl with camear



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