Over the past decade, it’s been an honor to be published and recognized among the many talented Knoxville photographers as well as recognized and well known in other metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, GA and even over international waters. Over the years, I have also had the pleasure of mentoring and teaching some bright and talented amateur photographers across the United States and overseas. Anyone from stay-at-home mothers who may have been gifted a nice camera, to semi-professional photographers just getting started. For me, it’s a joy and passion of mine to take the knowledge of what I have learned by trial and error from being self-taught and starting my own business at the young age of 25 (when I was completely clueless), and passing the detailed insight on to other aspiring photographers. So if any of this sounds like you right now, then fasten your seat belt and let’s take a ride and I will give you some valuable tips on how to execute a photo session from start to finish.
1) First and probably the most important tip is: Always collect a deposit at the time someone books an appointment. The reason this is the most important is because if you do not secure the appointment right away, then the rest of my tips won’t matter because the session may not even take place. So, no matter how much you decide to collect as a required deposit, make sure it’s paid to you before you put them on your schedule. Note: Always have a cancellation policy that protects both you and your client.
2) Second, if you are planning an outdoor photo shoot, make sure you take into consideration the temperature, weather, sun direction and high/low tide (if at the beach). The very best skies are overcast/cloudy and golden hour sunrise/sunset. Knoxville photographers, be sure to consider the southern heat and humidity and try to avoid mid-day photo shoots. If you are shooting at a beach, get a tide table and make sure you schedule your beach sessions at high tide times.
3) Next, send your client(s) some helpful tips on how to prepare for their photo shoot with you. For example, give them do’s and don’ts outfit suggestions, props they could bring to personalize their session and always tell them things to avoid like wearing sunglasses on the way to an on-location shoot (eyes need time to adjust to sunlight, so if they wear sunglasses on the way to an outdoor shoot, they will be squinting through most of the session).
4) Prior to the scheduled photo shoot, it’s a great idea to scope out the area if you do not know it well. Take note of the sunlight and how it hits the area you will be shooting in at that specific time of day. This could make or break the photo shoot. Look around for great scenery, props and also pay attention to the small details like if there’s going to be people or cars in the way. Knoxville photographers should check festival schedules as well as University of Tennessee sports schedules to avoid showing up to a location where you are unable to shoot (yes, I have done this).
5) On the day of the photo shoot, come prepared with extra batteries, extra memory cards and more than one lens for different styles of photography. You would be surprised how often even the most professional of photographers forget these small details that seem like common sense.
I hope I have given you some simple yet useful tips on how to execute a successful photo shoot. I look forward to sharing more of my photography tips throughout the fall season! Until next time….