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Everything you need on your photoshoot checklist

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Written by Esther C

Published Sep 21, 2023

Are you about to embark on your first photoshoot and want peace of mind? Or maybe you're worried about having limited shooting time, or you just want to improve the flow of your sessions? Anyway you look at it, it pays to be prepared. We’ve put together this photoshoot checklist so you can feel confident you have everything you need at hand on the day and you won't have any regrets when you get to the editing process. 

Contents

  1. Make a plan
  2. Book a location
  3. Prepare your equipment
  4. Confirm details
  5. Equipment checklist
  6. Final thoughts

Make a plan

man looking at pages of ideas covering the wall
Image by startup stock photos

Before you can get started on the practical stuff like what equipment you need, first you need to understand the purpose of your shoot. Answering the following questions will provide you with a solid foundation for planning a successful shoot.

What is the subject or theme of the photoshoot?

Who is the intended audience for the photos?

What story or message am I trying to convey?

Are there any specific elements or details that must be included?

Establishing a mood board will also help you with the style or aesthetic for your shoot. You can then use your board to help you build a shot list to reference at your photoshoot. A shot list is a collection of images and notes that describe the shots you want to work through on the day of your photoshoot.

Your shot list could be in the form of a notebook or folder with photos and roughly illustrated drawings, or it may be a slideshow you’ve created on your laptop which you can scroll through easily.

The list will include details like model poses, lighting setups and backdrops and will be valuable when it comes to packing your gear because you'll have already thought through the types of lenses, lighting equipment and props you'll need.  

Book a location

fashion photographer taking photos in a photography studio
Image by Wendy Wei

Once you have nailed down the purpose and style of your shoot, it will be much easier to understand your location requirements. If you need a photography studio, remember to check what studio equipment is included in the hire in case you need to hire additional equipment or supply your own.

Tutti has a range of photography studios including blackout and daylight studios available for hire. You can chat directly with the hosts to ask any questions you may have and when you're ready you can book online with ease. 

If you have the time you could request to view the location beforehand at a similar time of day as your planned shoot. This will help you get more comfortable with your surroundings as well as work out what the lighting will be like (you could even get in a few practice shots).

Here's a checklist of facilities and amenities to consider before booking a photoshoot location:

  • Changing room and space for a hair and makeup station for models
  • Ease of access for equipment setup and breakdown
  • Adequate heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning
  • Availability of power outlets for charging equipment
  • Public transport links or car parking availability
  • Nearby food and refreshment options

Prepare your equipment

photography equipment in a studio with white backdrop
Image by Brett Sayles

Before packing your tools, ensure all your photography equipment is in good working condition.

It's also a good idea to clean and calibrate your camera, lenses, and accessories. This means when you grab your camera out of your bag on the day, you know what your settings are on and you’ll be ready to start shooting. You don’t want any funky settings you forgot about ruining your first few shots of the day. 

Don't forget to charge all batteries and bring spares and format your memory cards.

You can use our equipment checklist below as a guide for what to pack. Give yourself plenty of time so you're not rushing around on the day looking for misplaced equipment.

Thinking of hiring a photo studio for your next photoshoot?

Choose from 1000+ spaces and locations on Tutti and deal directly with space hosts for a quick, hassle-free booking process.

Confirm details

woman in pink coat posing for a photo in front of a white sheet
Image by Dziana Hasanbekava

Before the day of the shoot, send around an email to everyone involved to confirm the date, time, location and meeting place for the photoshoot. If it's an outdoor photoshoot, include your agreed upon backup plan in case of bad weather on the day.

Let everyone know they can reach out with any questions and provide your mobile number for any issues on the day. 

Equipment checklist

camera equipment on wooden floor
Image by Andrew Neel

You can adapt this photoshoot equipment checklist for your particular needs.

Camera Gear:

  • Camera body
  • Lenses (as per your shot list)
  • Tripod
  • Memory cards (formatted and empty)
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Battery charger
  • Lens filters (UV, polarizer, ND)
  • Lens hoods
  • Remote shutter release or cable release
  • Spare camera body (if available)
  • Additional lenses (if available)
  • External flash units (if needed)
  • Light modifiers (if needed)
  • Trigger system (if needed)
  • Spare flash batteries
  • External hard drive or laptop for backup
  • Camera bag or backpack to carry all equipment

Accessories and Tools:

  • Lens cleaning kit (microfiber cloth, lens cleaning solution)
  • Lens pen or brush
  • Gaffer tape or clips for securing cables
  • Multi-tool or small toolkit
  • Spare memory cards
  • Backup lighting equipment (if available)
  • Reflectors or bounce cards (if needed)
  • Props or styling accessories (as per your shot list)
  • Reflectors or bounce cards
  • Coloured gels for lighting (if needed)
  • Notebook and pen for notes
  • Printed shot list or mood board
  • Printed model release forms and contracts
  • Contact information for team members and clients
  • Location permits (if required)
  • Personal protective equipment (if needed)
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency contact information

Personal Items:

  • Clothing suitable for the shoot and weather conditions
  • Comfortable shoes for moving around during the shoot
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent (for outdoor shoots)
  • Hat or cap for sun protection (for outdoor shoots)
  • Refreshments (water, snacks)

Final thoughts

In the flurry of a chaotic photoshoot, where time is often limited and circumstances unpredictable, the checklist will be your safeguard against oversights. Investing time into preparing for your shoot will keep you focused on the day and ensure you have everything with you in order to create the perfect shots as you envisioned them.

Looking for fashion shoot locations in London?

Choose from 1000+ spaces and locations on Tutti and deal directly with space hosts for a quick, hassle-free booking process.

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