Over the last several months I’ve been straying away from some of my regularly scheduled elopement shoots and venturing into the world of editorial photography. Editorial is vastly different from elopements and comes with its own unique set of challenges. But one of my absolute favorite things about editorial photography is the way it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and get creative.
Whether you’re new to editorial style shooting or you just want to brush up on your skills, the most important part of shooting editorial is planning. There’s nothing worse than going into a photoshoot feeling unprepared. If you want to make sure you get the best photos while also creating an amazing experience for everyone involved, I’ve got some tips for you. Here’s a (very) quick guide for how to plan an editorial shoot.
The most important part of planning an editorial shoot is getting to know your client. Who are they, what is their brand, how do they want to be portrayed? Editorial photography is all about telling a story through your photos, whether there are words to go along with them or not. The challenging part is knowing how to tell the story without the words. This is why it’s vital to get to know your client and what they are looking for before beginning any other planning steps. Ask them questions, “stalk” their Instagram, familiarize yourself with their products, whatever allows you to get a good feel of how you’ll tell their story.
Once you’ve gotten all of the nitty gritty details you know about your client and what type of photoshoot they are looking for, it’s time to create a mood board. Mood boards are the best way to visualize the style, colors, and aesthetic you want your photoshoot to have. Plus, if your client is someone you’ve never worked with before, it can be a good way to help them also visualize the aesthetic of the shoot before you begin.
The creative process is vastly different from photographer to photographer, so being able to put your ideas all into one place can be extremely helpful—even if it’s just a Pinterest board. Not to mention, this is a good way for your client to feel included before the shoot actually happens (just in case they want to make any changes).
No matter what type of shoot you’re doing, you’ll need a location to shoot at. You could find a studio to rent for the afternoon or take your work outdoors. From urban cityscapes to the mars-like landscape of Utah, there are endlessly beautiful backgrounds for editorial shoots to take place. Make sure you’re keeping the theme of your shoot in the back of your mind when you’re location scouting.
Let me tell you, editorial photoshoots would not be possible without an incredible team of creative people behind you. I’m talking hair and make-up artists, stylists, and even lighting specialists. Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind the theme of your photoshoot and the aesthetic. Maybe your client already has a stylist in mind, but not a hair and make-up artist. Finding artists who are able to bring your vision to life is essential. Having the right team can bring the whole shoot together—this is another reason why mood boards are vital to the editorial planning process. When your whole team can visualize the shoot, everything works together seamlessly.
You can’t have an editorial shoot without models, right? Finding the right models is a bit like finding the right team. They need to mesh well with the style and aesthetic of your shoot. Whether you choose a model through an agency or not, it’s important that he or she has the look you’re going for or that the look can be achieved through hair and makeup.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to shoot! But before you do, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Always bring back up gear—just in case. Make sure you have your mood board visible so you don’t lose sight of your vision. Always take more shots than you think you’ll need. And lastly, make sure you’re adaptable. You never know what the day will bring or whether or not the client will want to shift gears on you last second.
Shooting editorial can be a huge creativity boost, especially if you’ve been in a rut. I can tell you first-hand how much editorial forces you to get outside of your comfort zone and get creative in ways you didn’t think you could. If you’re looking for someone to help with your next editorial shoot, contact me today and let’s see if we’re a good fit!