Chelsea Nye

My Top Five Tips to Running a Successful Photography Shoot

1. Crew!

Recruiting and hiring the right people is key to having a smooth and successful shoot. With a professional, competent crew anything is possible! Having good dynamic and strong working relationships, will allow sets to run efficiently, organized, and issues can be resolved quickly. There are many moving parts during a shoot and everyone must manage and foresee tasks with ease so that it continues a forward trajectory. Photography productions are costly so having the right team can keep the project on budget with an exceeds expectation deliverable.

2. Homework

Always do your homework! This means researching and visiting locations prior to the scheduled shoot. Scouting locations allows you the time to evaluate the limitations and potential of the space. You can determine what you may need for grip, lighting, and rigging supplies.

Know what the deliverable is and who you are delivering it to. Research your client and discover who they are and what their brand identifiers are. If you understand your client you can better navigate the project with their mission at the forefront of decisions. Always have a comprehensive outline of what the project is, expectations for the final images, and follow up with the customer if questions arise.  

3. Be one with your Art Director "Ommmmmmmm"

Remember, the on set client is the Art Director. They are the voice of the customer and responsible for executing the vision of the assignment. Be sure to collaborate and communicate about image directives, needs, and expectations. This can sometimes be harder than it sounds but remember that this is not a personal project and choose your battles. A happy Art Director makes a happy Photographer!

4. Be flexible!

I know…I know… are we talking about photography sets or yoga!? Here is the deal, I have never had a shoot without some sort of compromise. It may be something as insignificant as not being able to use my favorite lens due to space limitations or it could be as derailing as having only half the furniture show up for a Livingroom lifestyle. Think of solutions and don’t let hang-ups get in the way of moving forward. Communicate with your crew and Art Director for all possible options to find a resolution. Be open to suggestions and get ready to flex your MacGyver skills!

5. Have Fun!

This is the most important tip! At the end of the day remember to have fun and get some laughs in! It always lifts morale to share outtakes and spoof shots when the job is done. Having an enjoyable and gratifying experience on set builds the foundation for lifelong friendships and lasting working relationships. So, don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy the ride!

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