We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
One of the most challenging aspects of planning a branding photo shoot, or any photo shoot for that matter, is creating a timeline! The timeline is the essential piece of planning that keeps the day moving on schedule and ensures that every important part of the session is captured. The timeline is what keeps us on track when the creative excitement wants to force us to deviate. It makes sure that our clients receive every piece of content they hope for and is our secret to making sure we give ourselves the opportunity to deliver. Putting the timeline together takes planning and forethought, so today we’ll share our top 4 Things to Consider When Creating a Photo Timeline. These are the things that are easy to overlook but will throw a wrench in your plans if they aren’t planned for.
If you’ve read our blog on How to Plan a Successful Branding Photoshoot, then you know how important it is to create variety for your shoot. Planning for variety is great, but the transitions involved in creating variety can be a timeline killer! We do our best to plan outfit changes for our clients at each location and ensure that there is time for the change included in our shoot time. Outfit changes can vary in length based on multiple variables from the extent of the wardrobe change difficulty to the speed and efficiency of your client. In general, we suggest allowing at least 5 minutes for a wardrobe change, and more if makeup or hair changeups are needed.
Some shoots take place in one location, and the theme changes throughout what the venue or location has to offer. Other times, planning for multiple locations is needed to introduce the all-important variety. In our planning, we often make it a primary goal to choose locations with our client that are in close proximity so that session time isn’t eaten up by travel. Either way, whether the locations are nearby or far apart, including the time for travel in your timeline is easy to forget, but will absolutely crush your plans if forgotten. Even nearby locations take more time than you think to move between, so give yourself generous time!
Many of our clients represent brands or businesses that not only offer a service but promote a product or elements associated with their service that needs to be photographed. The key to doing that effectively is styling the products or service elements in an engaging way! The number one thing required to do that – besides creativity – is time! Detailed styling takes time, and must be accounted for in your timeline. Even a simple flat lay or styled piece can consume 10 minutes plus, so make sure you allow yourself the time to let the creativity flow! We sometimes feel we have an advantage since one of us can break off to style while the other works with the client, but we still build time in for styling!
Let’s face it, we all need a break once in a while. Depending on the length of your shoot, a break might be necessary to keep everyone’s energy level up and the creative juices flowing! Even after a couple of hours, we feel a drop in energy on a shoot. Sometimes a quick break to grab a snack (or COFFEE!) is all that’s needed. Other times, a solid lunch break might be the most beneficial thing for our clients and us! Considering the length of the session, we decide what will serve our clients best and result in the most productive session and include that time in the timeline.
So plan ahead for these easy to miss events to make sure your timeline stays on track! Oh, and if this all seems like far to much detail to plan for, we can do that for you!
Happy planning friends!