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Tips for an Epic shoot


Hehe, NO........ it’s not that type of blog.

Having Epic pictures of yourself/family/friends is something everyone while planning a shoot expects to get. Well this is not always the case, at times lack of knowledge hinders us to achieving this goal. I recently did a baby bump shoot for me and wifey and as I was doing the shoot preparation I realised that there are a lot of details that my clients would not be privy to that I as a photographer I'm.

#1 - Preparation

Always have a plan! Not having a plan is the most common mistake people make while planning their shoots. Remember this is an investment into your future representation and like any other investment you should always have a plan. This is most important especially when the shoot will involve a lot of people that you will not be able to bring together any time soon. You should be mentally prepared/ Be open minded e.g. be willing to travel a bit further, be willing to spend a bit more on the dressing, photographer, location etc.

#2 - Photographer

A great portrait is a collaboration between photographer and subject. Research on the available photographers within your area. If your budget allows search as Far and wide as possible for a photographer who you like their style. Most professionals will have a style that identifies their photography. So be sure to review their portfolio ahead of time and see if they have the type of shots you like. E.g. Do you want blurred backgrounds, posed photos, candids? Also how are they charging you? By the hour? Is all the Photoshop editing included? How many pictures are you getting? When will your pictures be ready? etc.

Pro Tip: Every photographer is unique to his skill and technique.

#3 - Pre Photo shoot meeting

To ensure that all goes according to plan it is always advice able to have a pre shoot meeting with your photographer of choice. During this meeting the photographer will give you tips on what to expect during the shoot, both in terms of what they’ll be doing, and what you’ll be doing. They will explain the *why* behind all this, this meeting will be an ice breaker between you and the photographer and will help build trust that will help smoothen the shoot process.

Pro tip: this is the best time to bargain.

#4 - Location and timing

This will generally set the mood for your shoot, so if you’ve been on the net searching for the specific type of shoot you want. I recommend that you plan out the location way ahead of time as your location will play a huge role in your end shot look. If you are blank on locations don’t panic, consult your photographer and I’m sure they will advise accordingly depending on the type of shoot you want. After you’ve chosen your location, your photographer should be able to advise on the best timings to do the shoot. Generally, most outdoor shots are best done either very early morning or late afternoon/sunset time. If you choose to do a studio shoot be sure to find out location, preference in backgrounds, lighting (Hard or soft light) etc. Other things you may consider while scouting locations are.

  • Is there a washroom close by?

  • Are there changing rooms? You may want to bring a large sheet that 2 people can hold up around to change in. You won’t always have time to run to the bathroom each time

  • Temperature? Will it be hot, cold, raining?

Pro Tip: At times you don't have to go far to get the perfect location. be open minded and creative. The below images were shot in the open spaces of our estate.

#5 - Dressing

.If your budget allows I suggest that you get a stylist who will advise on the attire that will best suit your shoot. If not just try and Coordinate your outfits. This will show that you are a group, a family or you belong together. This does not mean necessary that everyone should wear the same cloths. But think about style of clothing e.g. if its official everyone should do official. Choose colors that complement each other. Easy way to do this is lay your cloths together and see if they look good together.

Pro Tip: Instead of buying outfits for everyone try matching with cloths you already own. e.g in the below pictures wifey went out and bought cloths that matched what i already had.

#6 - Price

This should be the last thing that you consider. In my 8 years’ experience in the corporate world I’ve seen price get in the way of opportunities that would have been very favorable were it not for investment costs being put first.

Pro Tip: Pay your photographer in advance to reserve shoot date.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Otieno Nyadimo, Joseph Odinga

RETOUCH: Otieno Nyadimo

STYLING: Ndegwa Muketha


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