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Planning the Perfect Photoshoot (COVID friendly)

With our HerCampus Spring 2021 photoshoot quickly approaching, I thought I would share a few tips on how to have the most successful result all while having fun, even during a pandemic!

Set Your Dates Early

You don’t want to be scheduling your photoshoots too late! You need to make sure everyone has time to prepare and their schedules are clear in order to get a good turn out! I always suggest planning which month you’re aiming for ahead of time (roughly 4-6 weeks) and then as it gets closer (2 weeks). Then you can get down to the nitty gritty details like the exact day (due to COVID, maybe exact days), timing, and location! 

Pay Attention to Weather and Have a Backup Plan

Weather is obviously something no one can control but Mother Nature herself, so keeping an eye on that radar and seeing when potential storms might appear in the location is always vitally important! With COVID it’s hard to plan too many indoor photo shoots, especially with more than 10 people, so outdoor photoshoots are a must! Not to mention that AMAZING outdoor lighting!!!! Always have a back-up plan so that if the weather decides to get bad at the last minute you aren’t having to reschedule too much and having to worry about the details with that. 

Prepare with Theme and Pose Ideas

Creating a theme is also EXTREMELY important, even if it’s just something like bright trendy clothing or even everyone wearing a funky mask! Themes help add consistency to the photo shoot and make content even stronger! You want to have some similarities between individuals within the group, but you also should pick a theme that lets everyone express themselves in their own way. Another crucial aspect is choosing some poses before the shoot and sending them to your models so that they feel comfortable and have time to practice!

Create a Comfortable Atmosphere

This is by far the most important step! How many times have you gotten your picture taken, say a middle school photo for the yearbook or even your senior pictures, and not known what to do or not felt confident? No one wants to feel awkward when they are taking pictures. They want to be laughing and having fun! Some fundamental ways of going about this would be playing music during the photo shoot, talking with your models as to what they like and what feels natural to them, and reassuring them while you’re taking photos to make them feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera! 

Have Fun

This kind of goes hand in hand with step 4; however, being comfortable and having fun can be something that’s a little harder to achieve! Just remember it’s your job as the photographer to make the model feel appreciated, confident, and valued! Laugh with them when awkward moments happen and reassure them that stuff like that happens ALLLL the time because we all know it does! Try and bring their natural smiles and personalities towards the forefront and get to know them! They aren’t just subjects for you to photograph. Share jokes, stories, etc. Make it fun and make them feel accepted. 

Lizzie is a senior at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. She is creating her own major compiled of Economics, Computer Science, and Studio Art which she will call "Emerging Technology in Business & Design". She hopes to own her own cosmetic company one day! Lizzie enjoys playing volleyball, doing anything artsy (embroidery, painting, graphic design, etc), playing around with makeup, and all things fall! Lizzie currently works on the photo blogs and she is also the photographer for DePauw's branch of HerCampus.
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