Preparation for a Commercial Photoshoot

Preparation for a Commercial Photoshoot

In part 1 of ‘Marketing your brand – The Commercial Photoshoot’, we covered the decision to commission a commercial photoshoot and some of the initial processes involved.  Once the shoot has been planned, the preparation for the photoshoot can begin.


Making sure everything’s ready for your photoshoot

For the most part, the task of photoshoot preparation is one of organisation and logistics. In the planning stage, it was identified what the outcome should look like and what would be needed to make it happen, the preparation stage involves making sure that on the day of the photoshoot, the sets will be ready or locations booked, all the necessary people are present and prepared, that all the required equipment is ready to go and that the subjects of the shoot are all ready to be captured.



From the planning phase, you’ll already know where the photoshoot will take place, if it’s at our studio, we’ll have reserved the date for the shoot and the time required for any set build. Otherwise, any reservation of the shoot location will have to be arranged along with any special permissions which might have to be considered. No matter where the shoot takes place, there will have to be some preparation of the location, so arranging that preparation, the materials and equipment which might be needed and, of course, the people necessary to do the preparation will all have to be arranged.


At a commercial photoshoot, there are usually more people present than just the photographers. Photoshoots usually require coordination between numerous individuals. Aside from the people taking the pictures, there will be various crew members, each with particular roles making sure that the photographers have everything they need to make best use of their time. If models are required, there’ll likely need hair and make-up artists to get the ready for the shoot and if necessary, someone to look after wardrobe too. Overseeing and coordinating the shoot will be one or more people tasked with making sure everything goes smoothly. Additionally, depending on the location and the length of the shoot, there may need to be caterers keeping cast and crew well fed and watered. All the people involved in the photoshoot will have their own schedules and diaries, they’ll need to be approached, assesses for suitability, costed and booked.


Part of the benefit of engaging a commercial photographer is that we have a comprehensive collection of all the equipment needed for any commercial photography or videography project. Equipment that would only be cost-effective to own if it were used all the time. For shoots which take place within our commercial photography studio, everything we need will be on hand and all that will be necessary is to make sure that a complete list is prepared of what will be needed and how it will be used.

For external shoots, having a list and contingencies in place is especially important as transport will need to be arranged and the location might be too distant to make it feasible to collect additional equipment once on set.

The Photoshoot Subjects

The subject of your photoshoot might be products or it might be people, but naturally, getting them to the location safely and in time for the shoot is important. Transport will need to be arranged along with any assistance to help with this. People will need to be briefed, products will need to be catalogued and labelled.


The final countdown to the Photoshoot

There will likely be a number of meetings leading up to the shoot as those involved in making all the necessary arrangements get together to discuss progress, confirm plans, make contingencies and make adjustments to the plans as the needs arise. The better the plans, the better prepared all concerned will be to cope if an external factor causes an issue.

Closer to the shoot, these meetings will move towards revisiting the whole plan to make sure absolutely everything that needed to be organised has been, double/triple checking, confirming bookings and looking at additional issues should they have arisen.

A well-executed plan and well-implemented preparation phase should lead to a smooth, trouble free and above all efficient photoshoot.



As with all tasks which require coordination, preparation and logistics, getting ready for a photoshoot can be a complex task, but if done well can pay dividends and eliminate the need for future re-shoots. At Ikon, we have decades of experience making sure that even the most complex commercial photography and video shoot is well organised, planned and executed. Get in touch with us to find out how we can make your next brand photography project go ahead without a hitch.


Coming up in part 3 of  Marketing your brand – The Commercial Photoshoot, we cover commercial photoshoot itself and what to expect on the day of the shoot.