Regardless of organising a shoot for a paying client or doing an experimental test shoot with a model, there are a few dos and don’ts that apply.

Styled shoot for a jeweller.

Portraiture test shoot.

Couple shoot.

1. Be polite and genuine – don’t be rude

Remind yourself that your subjects are more than likely very nervous; so be accommodating. It’s part of your job to make them feel at ease and comfortable in front of the camera. Don’t come across as being impatient. Take your time directing them and if you see that they’re feeling uncomfortable, adapt and move on to a new look or pose.

2. Be organised – don’t be unprepared

Whether you’re organising a test shoot or working with paying clients, you need to be properly prepared. Make sure you know exactly what the client brief is. Thereafter, create a mood/Pinterest board with ideas, colours, inspirational photos and a gear list.

3. Take your time – don’t rush things

The first few photographs are considered warm-up photos. Your client needs to feel relaxed and this will happen over time; so don’t freak out and worry if you don’t see any mind-blowing shots in the first 100 images.

4. Stay calm and confident under pressure – don’t come across as being flustered

Sorry to burst your bubble, but things will go wrong as they inevitably would. Whether you forget to pack your reflector or the wind keeps blowing your model’s hair (and your shot) away; stay calm and collected, adjust your plans and look for a way to adapt to the circumstances without worrying your client. You can go as far as to joke about the situation and set your client’s nerves at ease. If you look unsure, your subject will notice and their tension will show in the photographs.

5. Be flexible – don’t get stuck

Sometimes what you envisioned doesn’t turn out as you wanted; my advice, move on. Don’t tire yourself and your subjects by forcing something that clearly isn’t working. Instead, move on to the next pose/look. This will also allow you to produce a wide selection of different looks.

At the end of the day, you have to enjoy what you’re doing while keeping the client happy. I hope these tips help you with that upcoming shoot! ;)

Jewellery shoot for client

Styled shoot for a jeweller.