Whether your next photoshoot is a wedding, a personal project or a professional one, it is essential that you understand how to plan a photoshoot properly. Being as prepared as possible is one of the things that can help you to turn a good photoshoot into something so much more; a great photoshoot. Concept photoshoot is something that every photographer should consider when undertaking a project.

Here are just some of our top tips to use when planning your next photoshoot. These will help you to turn those all-important artistic visions into a successful photoshoot.


The location can be key to any great photoshoot. Therefore, you should consider carefully what would work best for the type of photographs that you are taking. Do you want an urban vibe or something scenic? If you are planning to shoot indoors then you will need to check with whoever owns the premises that you are okay to shoot there. It is usual for a permit to be required when shooting indoors if the photographs will be used to sell something.

Create a mood board

A mood board is always a great place to start. You could use Pinterest and create a secret board that can only be seen by the people who will be involved in the photoshoot. A mood board will help to ensure that you all have the same vision for the shoot and will give anyone involved a good idea of the type of equipment they will need to bring along. As a photographer, it will also give you an idea of the types of lenses you may need, and of course any special lighting. Once you are at the shoot you can also use the mood board if you forget anything.

For more inspiration, you could always join a photo-sharing site and join a community of photographers, both professional and amateur, who can provide you with top tips and advice. You could even take some inspiration from other concept photography you have seen shared on the site.

Is there a narrative?

Are you trying to tell a story with your images? This will actually depend entirely on what type of photoshoot you are doing, but if you are working on a personal project rather than one for a client you may very well have a story that you want to tell with your pictures.

If there are any props that you might need to help you with this don’t forget to add them to your mood board, and also take them along to the photoshoot.

Check the weather

This is particularly important if your photoshoot will be taking place outdoors. If bad weather will disrupt your shoot, then it is important to have a backup location. The more prepared you are on this front the better. If your shoot will be taking place indoors then the weather may not make too much of a difference, but heavy rain could change the amount of light you get. This is important if you already checked the venue on a sunny day, so pack some extra lights.

Consider the best time to do the shoot

The best time for your shoot will depend on a number of things. If you are using an outdoor public location and you do not want people in your images then you will need to consider shooting early in the morning; sunrise can be a great choice because of the lighting. Rather than lug all your equipment there only to find your location is busy, a dummy run might be a good idea. It will also give you an opportunity to check out the light.

Avoid the middle of the day as this will be when the sun is at its highest and the lighting will not only be quite harsh but will also cast odd shadows. Just before sunset can also be a good time of day for a shoot.