How to organise an interiors photoshoot.
Even if you feel like you only have a small budget, creating a concept for an interiors photoshoot, planning the details with your photographer, scouting locations and coming up with a feeling and mood should be at the very least of what you are trying to accomplish. Because in the end, a commercial photoshoot is an art form in itself which takes planning.
1. The Enquiry - This usually comes in the form of an e-mail or a phone call. At this point I usually have an idea of the type of company I am shooting for and the magnitude of the job, but little else.
2. The Meeting - I often travel to the agency or client to get a more detailed brief. The agency will tell me who the client is, what the usage is, when the photoshoot needs to be completed and delivered by, and any details that would be of use in terms of exploring the brief creatively.
3. The Quote - Once I have a full understanding of the scope of the job a quote can be generated, I will send the client a quote for my creative fee followed by the license fee (sometimes referred to as usage fee). I then find out if the shoot is going ahead or that the budgets didn’t align.
4. Pre-Production - By this stage I will have a very detailed brief (which will more than likely change). This is when I start to work out the logistics of the photoshoot. There maybe a rece with Creative director & stylist to come up with a shooting plan. Gear lists, lighting design, location scouting, and test shoots will start to take place. Even if I am 99.9 percent sure that the shoot will require a specific lens and camera combo, I still pack almost everything that could possibly ever come up. The final stage of pre-production is usually the night before. Simple things like making sure that everything is charged, cards are formatted, hard drives are in place, and that there’s plenty of coffee.
5. The Photoshoot - Everything that has been discussed prior to this point will often go out of the window at this stage. Depending on the type of photoshoot, there is usually myself, an assistant, some form of stylist(s) (interiors, clothing, hair, make up, props, food stylist, home economist), someone from the ad agency (usually the creative director), and then often a client.
6. The Pack Down - Once the photography has finished and the crew have left, the pack down begins. The first stage of this is the backup. I shoot to a card tethered to a laptop which duplicates the images on to two drives. At this stage I upload the images to a cloud, take a card and hard drive home that duplicates onto a different machine and also leave one hard drive in the studio. I then check all of the kit for damage, pop everything on charge, and place it back in the correct space. After really big shoots, I often do the backup and head straight home for sleep, which I instantly regret the following morning.
7. The Edit - Choosing the final image is often out of my control. It is usually narrowed down on set while I am tethered to Capture One, then once the final image is selected by the client I work on the image to a greater or lesser degree before delivering. Some clients just ask for a jpeg file which is of course simple enough some ask for a tiff. Others ask for colour grading. Some want colour grading and Photoshop. And you get the odd client who wants the full works of colour grading, Photoshop manipulation, and artwork.
8. Delivery - Delivering on time and in a manner that works for the client is crucial. You don’t want to let it all slip at this stage. When a client says they need it on Monday, that means within the hours of 9 to 5. We all probably work until far later, but by “the end of the day” does not mean 11 p.m.
9. Follow Up - A little while after delivery or even after the ad campaign has gone live, I like to have a chat with the client and a bit of a debriefing with them. Getting feedback on every job is a great way to grow and improve your craft. It isn’t just about the photography either, I want to know if the delivery method worked for them, if they enjoyed themselves working with me, if the support team were to their liking, and how they found the process of booking me.