You’ve nailed down the final pieces of your project, set up your inspiration board, submitted your creative brief, and you’re ready to get the show on the road! After booking a commercial photoshoot, I know how eager you are to get those images in your hands—or on your labels. But it’s imperative that we put ample time into the project before shooting so that you end up with images you love. While the photoshoot itself may take just a day or two, quite a bit of planning, prepping, and artistry goes into the project behind the scenes before the big day. Here’s a typical project timeline you can expect for a commercial photoshoot:
Project Timeline for Commercial Photography | How to Plan for Your Session
Give your photographer 3-4 weeks to prep for a project.
First, try to book your project with your photographer as early as possible to get the ball rolling. Then, reach out a minimum of 3 weeks before a shoot date to check in, confirm everything, and start ironing out the details of the shoot.
Confirm the shoot date, time, location, and logistics with all team members.
You or your photographer may need to bring on appropriate team members, such as stylists and assistants, so consider the time it takes to secure your team. After confirming with your lead photographer, this should be the very next step. Keep in mind, the lead photographer may need to tweak the timeline just a bit to ensure all parties are available. (View my recent post to see why hiring a team as opposed to a sole photographer may be the best option for your project.)
Set the stage.
Over the next couple weeks, your photographer or team members will scout and rent a location if necessary. They’ll also consider any permits or reservations to prevent legal issues. Some locations may have limited availability, and your photographer will work to get your project booked as soon as possible without compromising quality.
Since each project is carefully crafted to fit your unique brand, your photographer or team will be hard at work designing hand-crafted sets or props in the weeks leading up to the shoot. The time needed will depend on the complexity and scope of the project. Extra time will also give the stylists time to source props and prep so they aren’t putting things together or experimenting the day of.
The prep time will save you time and money in the end. Plus, it’s important to allow some wiggle room in the schedule so that things look perfect. Even with careful planning, by nature, good art requires occasional improv and adjustments to get it just right.
Arrive early to the shoot, and watch the magic happen!
I want you to have a great experience during your photoshoot. Whether you’ll be in the spotlight yourself or on the sidelines watching the magic take place, the process should be a seamless and stress-free as possible. We’ll take care of the details, but we will need you on hand to confirm assets throughout the process.
The necessary prep time will help ensure that we’ve accounted for every detail, and no one is scrambling when it’s time to shoot. Good communication, clear expectations, and a realistic project timeline will make collaborating with your visual team fun and easy!
Los Angeles Food + Product Photographer, Lindsay K Photo | Now Booking Projects for 2022
Lindsay is a Los Angeles-based food, product, and commercial photographer. She specializes in Still Product & Food Photography, Lifestyle & Portrait Photography, Stop Motion, and Food Styling. Connect with her here for product marketing!