Preparation and Goals

Preparation and Goals

One of the biggest things that bother me about young photographers (less then a year or two of experience) they just set a shoot up, meet at a location, and then they just shoot. I will admit I use to do this until I matured and understood that I needed to step up on shooting to get noticed.

Two big words come in mind for when you set up a shoot. Preparation and Goals. Now  I am going to give you a list of things that will help you in terms of  preparing, shooting, and goals you want from your shoot.


Journals- I keep everything that I am planning in a black journal that is in my bag for when I am out traveling or out scouting locations. Journals also give you a way to recall anything that might have slipped your mind when you are casting for a shoot.

Tear sheets or Folders of Inspiration- Tear sheets are something you get from magazines that show something that you might want to shoot. This can be style, lighting, posing, or the wardrobe. Having these will give you a visual to show a possible client during a meeting.

Folder of Images- The digital age of photography and media gives us a great resource to bring images to meetings and show people what you might be looking for in a shoot. I keep my folder on a tablet to show people at meetings for future reference.

Meetings- These will help you solve a lot of problems that might come up during the shoot. Meetings can be done in person if you are close to the client, over skype (great tool for sharing images and talking face to face.) Also  phone calls and messaging can be great tools.

The images below took a lot of preparation because I had to learn the lighting because of the moving fabric, the posing to give you the emotion in the image, and also having a confident model to give you the look you want. All of this give you the final image that will help you showcase your talent.


What are you shooting for- This can be a lot of different things. Magazines, galleries, prints, series, etc. Knowing what you are shooting for will give you more drive in the shoot to capture the goal you are looking for.

Who is the client- This can be also answered in the What are you shooting for? The Client can be you, the subject of your images, both or even a gallery, magazine, etc.

Who is your audience- This is really big because a lot of people don’t know who their audience is. If you are shooting more fine art images, you want an open minded crowd who can get pass the chance of nudity being in an image.

These are some basic things to help you out in the future. In the next couple days I will give you some tips on preparing your images for editing (my biggest thing is knowing if you want to turn the image into a black and white during the shoot).

If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I will happy to answer. My next blog will be about my shoot I have this afternoon, and I will show you the planning and inspiration behind the shoot.

Thanks for reading,


All images © Jimmy McRoberts 2014




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