Ideas and inspiration for easy entertaining and a fun home life


How to Prepare For and Execute a Photoshoot

April 3, 2018

Hi!    One of my many goals with this website is to help you learn how to execute your vision.    I really would love to be a resource for you to turn to when you’re learning photography and developing your eye and brand.    Originally, Will and I had just planned to go out and shoot all of the beautiful flowers around town as it looks so incredible right now  (“Charleston in Bloom”)  but, as I spent the morning clarifying the mood I wanted to set this spring/summer by creating inspiration boards, I saw a direct influence on what we photographed and thought it might be more beneficial to break down that thought process instead.  Here we go (and you can still enjoy some beautiful flowers, too):

Pre-determine the mood.  I grab a lot of inspiration from what’s around us in our daily lives but, when I am feeling stuck or creatively drained, I scour coffee table books, iconic images on Pinterest, and I love Mark Sikes’ blog, too — in my view, he does a great job of combing through great old magazine spreads and pulling out the best images.   Most of the shoots that we do are designed to feel dreamy/light-filled but I think I am developing an eye for moodier images, too.

Gather color inspiration.  I often pull colors from an image as well as a few photographs/items which I feel set a similar or complimentary mood.   I try not to go into a shoot totally oblivious to the colors that we’re trying to capture.   I would rather pre-determine what I think goes well together and then try to find it/create it.

Oftentimes what I execute is totally different but infused with a feeling which I feel is inspired by these images and colors.  Here is an example of a board that I had created earlier, with the thumbnail from our afternoon shoot which I think demonstrates a similarity:

I love the pale blue, deep tropical green and magenta red in combination.   Since I picked up this skirt last week, I realized that I already had a piece which could help execute this vision, particularly as that blue and those greens are readily available in town.    I often send my mood board to my phone so that I can reference it while we’re working.

I have said this time and time again but do make sure that you’re heading out in flattering conditions!  I really love sunny days and try to shoot in the late afternoon/early evening (I start the day slowly!).    My favorite is early evening/dusky light but because we also like to be home for dinner and chill time with the baby, this isn’t always our priority so we head out around 4 or as late as we can for favorable light.

I’m not a natural in front of the camera but being in front of it has really helped me direct our wedding and other clients.    It’s particularly challenging right now with my mouth full of braces (and missing teeth no less) because I find that it gives me my version of RBF but, I find that the best shots are always when you’re laughing or more relaxed (so brace yourself for LOTS of laughs once these bad boys are off…) … Perhaps that’s why you see me with so many glasses of wine …. 😉    In all seriousness, movement seems to draw out a more natural feel and the more you do it, the easier it is.     I find that walking, shifting weight from one foot to the other, and working with someone you really trust seems to help!  xxx