How to Plan A Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog // Part 2: Creating A Shot List

I’m excited to share Part 2 of How to Create a Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog — and this shoot with the lovely Kate Padgitt of A Lonestar State of Southern!
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In Part 1 of this series, I shared how you could create a theme or overall story for your shoot. In Part 2, I want to share how you can create a shot list that tells the story of your shoot.
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A shot list is basically a list or collection of images you want to capture during your shoot. You can make them as simple or complex as you want.
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So many bloggers tell me before a shoot “I’ve never done this before,” or “You’re going to have to tell me what to do!” This is completely normal and you’re not alone if you’re nervous — I know how you feel!
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That’s why having a shot list for your shoot is a great idea. You’ll have inspiration and ideas to reference instead of doing the same shot over and over or drawing a blank (hey, it happens!).
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Having a shot list isn’t cheating creativity, it’s preparation. 
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I often bring inspiration to shoots since it lets me mix it up if I’m running low on ideas.
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Here are two steps you can take to create your own shot list (note: you can leave this to your photographer or collaborate together, it’s really up to you).
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Step 1: Based on your shoot’s theme or story, pick 3-4 words you want to describe the feel or mood of your shoot and keep those in mind for each image you create.
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I like this piece of advice American photographer Richard Avedon told Cindy Crawford on a shoot — “Have a thought in your head when you’re looking at the camera.” This way, she would avoid having a blank stare and make sure her eyes were saying something.
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When you know the story you’re telling and you have that story in mind, you’ll be able to better convey that emotion in each image — and you’ll have a more unified shoot.
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Step 2: Create a list of 5-10 different images for your shoot (add more or less if you want) and remember you can always go off the list.
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Write down as many ideas as you can think of (without holding back or editing yourself). Then refine it down to your favorite 5-10 to try. It might help if you think about how your story starts and ends, and what happens in between.
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Here are a few different ways you can organize the shot list: 
  • Are you a visual person? Make a rough sketch of the images you want — they don’t have to be very big or fancy at all.
  • Write it out: Create a bulleted list of the shots you want using as much detail as you need.
  • Needing inspiration? Curate an album of pictures you like so you can reference or modify them to fit your shoot.
Each shoot and theme is unique so everyone’s list will be a little different, just remember to use the story or theme to create actions and emotions that will work for you.
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Here are some shot ideas you can use to help tell the story:
  • Wide shot of the location/surroundings with you in it.
  • Interacting with props relating to your shoot.
  • Detailed shots of clothing and props.
  • Action: walking, twirling, dancing as it relates to the story.
  • Close-ups of you showing emotion (having a thought in mind helps).
Once you’ve created your list, feel free to share with your photographer so the two of you are on the same page. Yay for collaboration!
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Spending time creating this list will absolutely pay off on the day of the shoot. You’ll be able to relax more and not worry about forgetting any of your image ideas.
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Stay tuned for Part 3 of How to Plan a Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog in the next few weeks. In the meantime, sign up for my free email course below!
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Do you know a blogger who would find an email course on shooting helpful? Share this link with them to sign up for free!
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P.S. Are you a blogger or entrepreneur in Dallas? I’m currently booking shoots for the fall! You can book a shoot with me here!
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  • Rachel Gray - LOVE your series so far on planning an editorial shoot! You know, I guess i’ve never thought of shooting an outfit like this before. I love your ideas of telling a story and creating a vibe with props and location for your whole shoot. I am already thinking about how I can do this for my next outfit post :) Thank you for all of your insight! I can’t wait to see what part 3 holds!ReplyCancel

    • Megan Weaver - Thank you so much, Rachel! I’m so glad it’s been helpful and would love to see your shoot! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shamira West - Great tips! I want to do an editorial for my bday and 1 year blogging anniversary.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - This is so helpful, thank you! New photos are definitely on the horizon for me and it will help to start thinking about things like this so I can be prepared- I’m terrified of spending big bucks on a shoot only to forget everything I need!ReplyCancel

    • Megan Weaver - So glad to hear, Jenny! I hope it’s useful for your upcoming shoot – and good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Evans - GREAT series – so helpful. Bookmarking this one for future reference. Wish I’d had it before my last shoot a couple months ago :)ReplyCancel

    • Megan Weaver - Thank you so much, Michelle! I hope it’s helpful for your next shoot! :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia - Thank you! Great advice! The “thought in your head” idea is so simple but yet so brilliant for making a great picture.ReplyCancel

    • Megan Weaver - Thanks, Julia! I hope it’s helpful for your next shoot! :)ReplyCancel

  • Blog Planning & Inspiration Guide | Style Collective - […] How to Plan a Creative Editorial Shoot for your Blog: Part 2 Creating a Shot List […]ReplyCancel

  • 4 Tips for Your Personal Blog Photographer » Megan Weaver | Dallas Blogger & Entrepreneur Photographer - […] I would recommend (especially if you’ve just started shooting with them) to create a shot list of images you both can refer to during the shoot. This will ensure that even if you run out of […]ReplyCancel

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