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How to prepare for an E-Commerce Model Photography Shoot

After researching photography studios for your E-Commerce Model shoot for your brand, you’ve finally found the studio for you! The stars have aligned, and you’ve booked your studio, photographer, model, make-up artist… But what next?

I imagine you’ll have some of these (maybe all these questions) running through your head…

What happens on the day? Do I come to the studio? Can I direct the shoot? Do I have to provide a brief for the photographer? Do I have to bring props? What am I doing????

I’m going to answer some of those questions for you now and give you some key advice for planning and preparing your model shoot.

Or perhaps this isn’t your first rodeo and this is shoot number 6… in which case cast your eye over this blog anyway- every studio/photographer is different!

The more planning and prepping you’ve done the more likely your shoot will run smoothly, and successfully. And don’t assume anything!

  1. Create a mood board for your shoot- keep your brand identity at the forefront of your shoot. Do not lose the essence of your company! It’s easy on the shoot day to get caught up in the buzz, having something to keep referring to will keep your shoot on the right track.

Don’t assume the studio will know what you want from the day if you haven’t told them.

  1. Create a mood board for your model- How do you want your model to portray your brand? Is it happy, fun, bright, vibrant? You need to show your model examples of how you’d like them to be on set- full of smiles, expression, and joy. OR soft, dreamy, sultry… ? Having visuals to show your model will help them to get up to speed with brand.

Don’t assume the model is as the pictures you saw on their casting- they have been directed on how to pose, facial expressions and all!

  1. Create a mood board for the Make-up artist/hair stylist- Do you have an idea of how you want the model to look? Maybe more than 1 look? 3 looks? Evening, Day time, something a little more Avant Garde? Having a look book or some examples of colours and styles for the make-up artist is a great way to explain to your MUA what you would like your model to look like. The make-up artist can give you some ideas, but it is always best to have some inspiration images to share.

Don’t assume your make-up artist will know how to you want your model to look!

  1. Set design- Do you want your model on E-Commerce style plain colour backdrop, or are you planning more of a lifestyle shoot, relaxing on a sofa set, a bedroom? Or both? Liaise with your studio to discuss what sets they can create. Remember some studios may only have one shoot area, be clear of the limitations they may have in regard to set design.

Don’t assume your studio has the sets they portray in their images on social media- they may have been on location!

  1. Props- Do you need a yoga mat for your active wear shoot? How about a glass of “wine” for your jewellery shoot? Whatever extra prop you may need be sure to liaise with the studio to check the props they have available to you. Some studios may charge for use of their props. Some studios may not have any props for use. Make a comprehensive list.

Don’t assume that someone will have “a bag” you can use!

  1. Wardrobe- Does the studio you’ve hired have wardrobe for your model that will compliment your jewellery/product shoot? If you are a clothing brand…, do you also make shoes? If not do you have shoes for the model to wear on set? Plan your wardrobe head to toe, and don’t forget accessories! You may have a clothing brand and therefore have allllll the clothing ready- but would you like your model to wear jewellery to appear more realistic also?

Don’t assume the model will bring/wear the wardrobe/accessories you will need!

  1. Inventory- make a comprehensive list of all your products, order them in priority. There is nothing worse than running out of time and you’ve left your prize product to shoot last…. And it doesn’t get out of the box!

Don’t assume that studios shoot until all your items have been photographed- most studios hire out at a day rate and will close when the day comes to an end regardless of how many products you still have left to shoot!

  1. Your expectations- Most studios are open for 8 hours… and with hair and make-up, setting lights, test shots, lunch break- you probably only have approx. 6.5 hours of set time. Be realistic about what can be done. Again, ask your studio for realistic numbers/timing. It isn’t advisable to bring your whole 1000-piece jewellery collection and expect to have 3 images per piece. You will only be disappointed.

Don’t assume what can be shot in a studio day- ask your studio for approximate quantities of images and their advice on how many items you should schedule for the shoot.

I think that’s it… There’s quite a lot to think about isn’t there? It can seem over whelming, daunting almost but…

Don’t be afraid ask your studio what they have to offer in terms of pre planning and production- Some studios, like ours, offer a creative concepts package and this means they will take a lot of the pre-production off your hands.

They will differ from each studio, but our creative package includes, prop sourcing, wardrobe sourcing, and storyboarding, creating a mood board for your model, make-up artist and photographer to work from. A complete end to end service!

Finally remember- a model shoot is possibly the most fun and exciting part of your journey in your business, if planned correctly!

Put in the time to prepare for the shoot, and it will not only be the most wonderful day but will create the best content for your web and social channels! Trust me when I say, you’ll be itching to book your next campaign!





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