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Planning The Perfect Photoshoot

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30 June 2023

Planning The Perfect Photoshoot

Planning a photoshoot for your brand? Here are some essential steps, from creating mood boards, to finding the right models for your swimwear photoshoot.

Photoshoots within marketing are not just pretty pictures. You need to consider how the product is displayed, the overall aesthetic you want to achieve with backdrops, props, styling, lighting and poses, and ensure it aligns with your brand tone. One well planned photoshoot can be implemented across several channels and have multiple purposes; e-commerce for selling your products on your website, a campaign showcasing your products in fantastical locations or lifestyle shots demonstrating how your products will look in everyday life.

These varying photos can all be used on your website and social media and capture a wide net of consumers, as well as for important PR purposes and to present to buyers or investors. Photoshoots can be a big and daunting task for any business owner, especially entrepreneurs who don’t yet have valuable experience and industry knowledge to organise and execute a shoot efficiently. Many moving parts need to be prepped, planned and managed before the big day arrives, and a strict schedule that all players involved need to keep to not only capture the perfect shots but to keep within your budget. It is easy to forget a small but crucial key component to your photoshoot, which is why we have created this comprehensive photoshoot checklist, so you can be confident that you will capture that perfect shot.

If you are looking for a marketing/manufacturing agency to help you with photoshoot services or marketing services, get in touch with the HYSCULPT team to help your brand stand out from the crowd. 

Start With A Mood Board

Just like with your company branding or very first product design ideas, a clear vision of how you want your photoshoot to look as a final product is essential. Always having a mood board or visual plan to refer to before, during and after the day of the shoot will make sure that you are maintaining consistency throughout and that you don’t get too distracted with on-the-day sporadic changes that can alter the entire tone of the shoot. The mood board should capture: 

  • The colour palette 
  • Your desired lighting
  • How you want the models to pose and what attitudes and expressions you want them to convey 
  • How you want your products to be styled 
  • Any additional clothes or accessories you want to include which will compliment your products, or demonstrate how your products can be styled   
  • Additional props such as furniture, books, food and drink, even live animals! 
  • How you want the models hair to be styled
  • How you want the models makeup to look
  • Reference images of how you want your final images to look, including any photoshoots that have inspired you or captured an aesthetic you wish to emulate 

 

Your mood board will start small, with vague ideas around the concept that will prompt and inspire your fully realised photoshoot plan. For a sustainable swimwear brand, for example, you may know that you want it to feel clean, fresh and natural, so you begin your mood board with images of the ocean, lush green foliage, women with little to no makeup, and hair that seems naturally curled to invoke those sought after beach waves. You can find inspirational images on websites such as Instagram and Pinterest, or take the more old-school approach and cut out pictures from magazines.

These visuals will be your building blocks with which you will create a detailed photoshoot plan. As your vision becomes clearer, you will be able to add more details as well as begin to envision what your final images will look like. At HYSCULPT, we can work collaboratively with you to help you create your visual concept, using our thorough research skills, innate creativity and industry knowledge to build a comprehensive visual mood board that truly captures your brand’s tone.

Find The Perfect People

This can be one of the most challenging parts of planning your photoshoot; who will be taking the shots. Finding and hiring the right person for your brand is vital as they will utilise their expertise to make sure that your images look dynamic and professional by directing the models and setting the props and lighting as well as making sure the most important aspect – your products – are on full display. They will also handle all post-production editing including photoshopping any stray threads or blemishes. Because the photographer plays such an integral part of the process, making sure they understand your vision and goals is key to a successful shoot. We recommend sending across your mood board and desired visual tone and explaining your concept in person.

Depending on your budget you can opt to hire a professional, who will supply or source their own equipment, or you can hire an amateur who will charge a lower price for experience and exposure. No matter which route you choose, always check your photographer’s body of work by requesting a portfolio, and doing a bit of social media stalking to see what they will produce! 

We understand that if you are new to the business, it can be an imposing task to select the right photographer for you and your brand, and many aren’t sure where to begin this process. But it’s not just the photographers who make the magic happen, there are many people both behind the scenes and in front of the camera who need to work together to make your vision a reality. You will need to cast models who meet your criteria, whether that be with their look, age or personal experience. A lingerie brand specialising in bras for bustier women will need to hire models with this specific body type to show off your products’ USP to consumers. It is also important not to leave hiring makeup artists and hair stylists to the very last minute either, as these people are essential to visualising signalling your brand’s identity and allowing your target consumer to visualise themselves in your product.

HYSCULPT has over a decade of experience in the industry with strong relationships with fashion professionals and is here to help guide you in the right direction for your brand. We can supply a trusted photographer who works with major brands such as net-a-porter, makeup artists, models and hair stylists and a professional studio for your perfect photoshoot. By managing the hiring of the entire team for the day ourselves, we can ensure that everyone is precisely briefed on your concept and has clear goals for the day. This cohesiveness is vital to making sure the photoshoot itself is cohesive and accurately reflects your brand and product. The clearer the visual message, the more effective it will be on your consumers. 

Define Those Details

Every extra second spent on a set is your budget being eaten. That is why it is important to plan in excruciating detail every shot you want to take and the itinerary for the day. Remember to be as clear as possible for your shoot plans as these will be the guidelines for not just you or the creative director of the day, but for all the models, makeup artists, hair stylists, and the photographer. We recommend using as many visuals in your plan as possible, as images are the quickest and easiest way to communicate what you want.

For example if you wanted Model A wearing Outfit B with Props C & D in your plan you would write those details and include a headshot of Model A, CADs or fit shots of Outfit B, and photos of Props C & D. This way there will be little opportunity for confusion and everyone can work together to get the shot as efficiently as possible. If you want to streamline your day even further, you can include suggested poses for the models, facial expressions, specific framing for the camera and framing for desired shots. It is also a good idea to outline how much time you want getting each shot, you don’t want to be spending three hours for a shot of one product when you need to get through ten! If you are conscious of your budget and post-production costs, include a clear outline for the number of shots you want to complete on the day so that the photographer doesn’t get too trigger happy.

Don’t forget that for e-commerce photos, you will need separate shots for the front, back and side of each product. Always make sure your day starts with the most important content so you know that if any unforeseen delays do occur, you will still have your most essential shots.  

Next, you will want to create a schedule for the photoshoot for every team member on set, tailored for each person with their itinerary for the day. This will include start time, breaks, tasks for the day, where they need to be, and their end time. For people such as makeup artists or hair stylists, you may need to specify where they can set up their tools and work on the models, including where power outlets will be and what will be provided, e.g. a large mirror and chair. As well as the itinerary, you will need to include a list of everything each team member will need to bring to the set such as specialist tools for the makeup artist or clean, product-free hair for the models. 

Another tip is to make sure your products are clean and steamed before the day of the shoot to ensure they look picture-perfect. We recommend having a sewing kit and seamstress on set in case of any last-minute fabric disasters on the day. As you can already see, there is a lot of planning and management required for a professional photoshoot and any one person can easily let details slip out of their mind.

That is why we are happy to offer our expertise to help your big day go as smoothly as possible. We have successfully executed many photoshoots for our clients and will be there on set to quickly resolve any issues that may arise and make quick decisions for a smooth process. We can also support you with styling on the day, and be that extra pair of hands to get models changed quickly, as well as source any garments or props needed.  

Extra Sparkle

Whilst the bulk of a photoshoot is more than enough to plan, to truly make your brand and product stand out we recommend incorporating behind-the-scenes photos and videos. This content can be used both on your website and on social media and is a great tool for building strong relationships with your consumers as sneak peeks drive them to feel connected to the brand and offers insight into the company and the team, plus this content suggests exclusivity to an area not many can access. At HYSCULPT, we are lucky to have our own in-house video content creator, who can take intimate behind-the-scenes videos, plus TikToks and Instagram reels for your socials, injecting personality and fun into your brand. They will be on set at your photoshoot, using their creative initiative and your clear visual mood board to effectively capture the desired tone of your brand. 

 

Other very important components you will need to include on the day of your shoot are catering for the whole team and a first aid kit. The crew will need to be sustained throughout the long day and all dietary requirements should be gathered a few weeks before the shoot date so you can ensure there is enough for everyone. Finally, making sure that there is a first aid kit and a qualified first aider is perhaps the most important thing you need to have on your photoshoot. Accidents can happen at any time, and whether it’s a major slip or a small cut, you want to make sure that the entire crew is safeguarded from casualties. 

 

Many moving parts need to be planned, prepped and managed for a brand’s photoshoot and it can appear as a very intimidating task, whether you are a new brand or a more established brand expanding into new product categories. At HYSCULPT, we aim to nurture and support anyone’s bodywear dreams which is why we can organise the entire process for you, for both campaign and e-commerce shoots. We will provide models, a set, a photographer, and props as well as art direction and management of the entire day, checking in with you throughout the process to ensure we are bringing your concept to life. By managing the entire photoshoot with us, you can be assured that we will create a cohesive and effective campaign that will successfully impact the market and reach your target consumers. 

Check out our Instagram where we post our dynamic behind the scenes content for our clients!

Find out how we can help you create your perfect photoshoot by reading our services here

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