How to Plan a Photo Shoot

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Consumer magazines and TV commercials often feature photos of beautiful women. They wear nice clothes, have perfect make-up and beautiful hair, but few people know what it takes to plan a successful photo shoot. This is part of the reason that America's Next Top Model captivated viewers when it first debuted by offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the amount of time and effort that go into planning a photo shoot. Finding a great photographer, the right setting and selecting the proper clothing and accessories will help you create a successful photo shoot.

Things You'll Need

  • Photographer
  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Model Release Form

Select a photographer by looking at their portfolio and seeing what work they have done in the past. If you want to do a shoot for a magazine, make sure the photographer has done some print work. Shop around for the best price. Most photographers base their prices on the number of outfits they allow models to wear during the photo shoot. It is recommended to go with the photographer that offers the most looks.

Choose a setting, whether in the studio or outdoors. Indoor shoots require a studio with proper lighting. Outdoor shoots require good weather so consider the time of year and weather forecast when booking. The beach seems to be a favorite outdoor location for a photo shoot.

Pick the clothing and accessories. You may want to choose a theme or work around a purpose. For example, if you're doing a photo shoot similar to Sports Illustrated, include swimsuits in your wardrobe. It's always best to remember your audience. If you are targeting pre-teens or an older demographic, the clothing should be modest. For the readers of Maxim, however, clothing that shows some skin is sometimes expected.

Hire a hair stylist and make-up artist to make sure that the model looks great from head to toe. You can work through a modeling agency or look at listings on websites such as Craigslist.

Print copies of model release forms. This form states that the photographer has the rights to the photos and helps prevent any legal issues involving the use of the photos. (See Resources 2)

Tips & Warnings

  • If you choose to shoot outdoors, make sure that the location is safe and, if necessary, obtain permission to shoot there.
  • Make sure that the photographer is legitimate. For photo shoots involving children under the age of 18, you need parental consent. Also, minors cannot pose nude.

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