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They say that preparation is the key to success

That’s especially true when it comes to having a successful photo shoot! When you’re prepared, the shoot goes more smoothly. Instead of worrying about missing gear, dirty lenses, or a dying battery, you can focus your attention and energy on creating your art. 

Having a pre-shoot routine is a great way to ensure minimal stress and maximum success. Create a checklist and double or even triple-check it as part of your routine. 

A bunch of camera equipment

Not sure what to include on your pre-shoot checklist? 

That’s what we are here for!  

Picsello Shoot Checklist

We have created FREE Checklists that you can download here. These include a general shoot checklist, plus additional items to bring for specific types of shoots, like newborn or wedding shoots. Some of these items are optional, so use our lists as inspiration for building your personalized pre-shoot checklist.

Pre-shoot tips to keep you prepared for your photoshoot!

Holding a pencil and paper

Tip #1Confirm with the Client

A day or two before the shoot, call your client to confirm the details. Confirm the time, location, who you’re photographing, and any other plans you’ve discussed. For instance, go over the shot list and any specific shots or combinations your client has requested.

If you’re photographing a group of people, it can be helpful to ask for a list of the people participating in the shoot. Knowing who will be in the shoot can give you some ideas about how you’ll stage your photos. If the shoot is outdoors, discuss a backup plan for bad weather. 

Tip #2List Shots and Poses

Create a list of shots and poses you want to get. Of course, this list isn’t set in stone—you can change it up if inspiration strikes on the day of the shoot. But you’ll want to list all shots, poses, or combinations requested by the client, along with some ideas of your own. 

Having a planned shot list makes you feel more prepared, confident, and professional. You know you’ll get all the shots you need instead of kicking yourself over something you missed later.

Write the list down in a notebook, then take a picture of it with your phone and camera. Even if the list gets misplaced, you’ll still have access to it on the day of the shoot.

Tip #3Plan for Nerves

Do you ever feel like you get stage fright or freeze up during a shoot? Get some inspiration from photography websites, Pinterest, or your portfolio and bring it with you, either by saving it on your phone or taking some photos on your camera. 

If you start to feel nervous or draw a blank, you’ll have a quick, easy way to get inspired and get back in the game.

Tip #4Know the Location

If you’re shooting on location, make sure you calculate travel time (including time between shoots if you’re using multiple locations). Calculate some buffer time for traffic or delays. 

In addition, double-check the availability of locations you’ve selected. For example, make sure the local park isn’t holding a festival on the day of your planned shoot.

And if you’re on location doing back-to-back shoots, make sure you know where to find the closest public restroom.

More Ways to Make Running Your Photography Business Easier

Including a checklist in your pre-shoot routine helps you overcome nerves, avoid mishaps, and deliver an excellent experience with high-quality photos. Your clients will appreciate your professionalism and talent.  They’ll book you again—and maybe even recommend you to their friends!

Check out why photographers are choosing Picsello to streamline their businesses and getting more of their to-do's done!

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Before you go - don't forget to download your free checklist.

Use it as your own or just use it for inspiration!


  • General shoot checklist
  • Additional needs for different shoots (Wedding, Family, Newborn)
Download now

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