Ever notice how some Instagram photos look so candid and effortless? Well, I'm here to tell you that that fabulous candid pic most likely took days, if not weeks to put together. Having worked on a Lookbook for the past month, I have a newfound respect for photo stylists. Whether you're taking pictures of your kids or a shooting for a style blog, here are some tips to make your next photo shoot a success.
1. Put Together a Mood Board
For me, the first step in putting together this Style Book was to create a mood board. I thought about what inspires me, what draws me to the images I use in my fabric designs, and what mood I wanted to convey. Next, I gathered images that I loved from magazines and the internet and saved them in a file on my computer. The mood board proved not only to be a useful tool in finding locations for the shoot, styling, and putting together a shot list. it was also a great way to communicate my vision to the photographer and the rest of the team. For more information on putting together a mood board, check out The Creative Bloq's Top 10 Tips for Putting Together a Mood Board.
2. Assemble Your Team
At the very least, you will need a photographer. In some cases, like mine, you will also need a model and makeup artist. It is a good idea to have not only your models sign a model release, but also to put together a written agreement for all the team members so you are all on the same page and have agreed on the terms and conditions for how the photos will be used. For more info, check out Pat Yuen's TFP Checklist. Pat has some great suggestions and guidelines for putting together your agreement.
3. Location, Location, Location
It doesn't seem like it should be hard to find places to shoot, but it is. There are a lot of things to consider including, lighting, crowds, and commercial photo restrictions and guidelines. For my shoot, I wanted to not just highlight places in my hometown of Raleigh, but also shoot in locations that were meaningful to me. When considering locations, review commercial photo policies and guidelines and ask for permission.
The model's style, complete head to toe look, set the frame for the bag in each shot. To style the models, I reached out to local brick-and-mortar stores, vintage shops, and independent retailers. I would recommend networking at shows and meeting other designers, talking to managers at your favorite stores, and collaborating with your team to create looks.
5. Make a List and Check it Twice
First I would suggest taking your mood board and creating a shot list, a list of photos you want the photographer to get. For me, this included detailed shots of the bag, overall shots, lifestyle shots, and shots for the online shop. Once you have your shot list put together, you can then put together a prop list. My prop bag consisted of sunglasses, a passport, teacups, books, hats, a cell phone... anything that would enhance the mood, make the photo seem more believable, and give the model something to work with.
I am so unbelievably proud of my Lookbook and invite you to take a peek. I would also like to thank all of the creatives and businesses who collaborated with me and are featured in the photographs, including:
Photographer: Assorted Poppies Photo
Locations: La Stella Pizza Loft, Sir Walter Raleigh Coffee, Historic Oakwood Cemetery, So & So Books, Pullen Park Carousel, The Rialto, The NC Museum of Natural Sciences/SECU Daily Planet, Bicentennial Plaza, Lake Johnson and Suzanna's Antiques.