How to Plan a Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog // Part 4: How to Work with Your Blog Photographer

One of the biggest parts of planning your blog’s creative shoot (or any shoot for that matter) is finding and working with your photographer.
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(If you missed parts one, two or three you can catch up now!)
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The best way to make sure you achieve what you want with your shoot is to communicate with your photographer.
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When I work with bloggers, I want to know what their vision is so I can do my best to help them achieve it.
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I’m going to share what I’ve learned over the past two years of shooting with bloggers and Taylor of The Simple Sol will be sharing advice from a blogger’s perspective (so don’t skip the end)!
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FINDING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER

If you’ve never used a photographer before and want to find someone who can help you achieve your vision, here’s a few ways to get started:
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  • Use social media — if there’s another blogger or creative whose photos you like, look for photo credits of the photographer on their Instagram, Facebook or blog and contact the photographer via email through their site (this is typically easiest for them vs DM in Instagram or Facebook messages).
  • Browse local hashtags — you can find photographers in your area by using #dallasphotographer or #(city name)photographer or #(city name)blogger to see what photographers the bloggers are using.

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Visit their portfolio, blog or Instagram to see if you like their images, and more importantly, if you like them as a person. Having good chemistry with your photographer will make the process way more enjoyable!
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If you have one or two photographers whose style you’re attracted to, and you think they can achieve your shoot’s vision, reach out to them.
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Send them an email introducing yourself and share a little about your blog or brand. Ask them if you can either meet up for coffee or get on a call with them to discuss the ideas you have for your shoot.
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Chances are, they’ll be super excited to meet you and talk about your vision.
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Don’t feel like you have to have all the details nailed down from the start.
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Most creative shoots I’ve done have started with a simple idea and then grown through one-on-one brainstorming with the blogger to create a plan.
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If, however, after the initial meeting you feel like they’re not the right fit, that’s okay. Keep searching for someone who has as much excitement for your shoot as you do — it will make the whole process more fun. :)
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After you’ve found the photographer, you can start planning the details. Don’t be afraid to tell them your ideas — this will help them work towards your vision. Remember, they work for you!
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When I work with bloggers, I love hearing their ideas and inspiration. I try to achieve as much as I possibly can within the location and lighting we have to work with.
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SHARING YOUR VISION

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If you’re not able to meet in person or discuss details, you can still share your vision with your photographer online:
  • Share a private Pinterest board or Dropbox folder of images with your photographer. Include the types of images or shots you’d like during the shoot. This will give them something to reference before and during the shoot.
  • If you don’t have any specific shots in mind, you can share a Pinterest board with an overall look and feel for the shoot and collaborate on the specific shots as you go.
  • If you do have a specific shot list, send it to them! Keep in mind if you have a limited amount of time, you may not be able to get every single shot you want, but you can get most of them. You can even create a “must have” list and a “nice to have” list to make sure you at least cover the basics.

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START PLANNING 

Here are a few key things to remember when you begin planning your shoot:

  • The lighting will be different in some locations based on the time of day you choose to shoot. Your photographer will have a good idea of the best time of day to shoot based on your location (inside vs outside), so it helps to be flexible on this if you want the best lighting.
  • If you’re shooting in a public place, it may be more crowded during certain times. Try to find out when they would be the least busy (i.e., early in the morning or on a weekday to avoid weekend crowds). Obviously you can’t always avoid crowds and may have to work around them, but this is another great detail to remember while planning.

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MAKING SURE THE SHOOT GOES SMOOTHLY

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I have really enjoyed collaborating with bloggers on creative shoots — they’ve all been organized, excited and willing to try new things on the shoot. I’ve noticed there are a few things that have helped these shoots run as smoothly as possible:
  • Ensuring the location staff knows you’re coming and at what time — this way you don’t show up unexpected, and everything is ready to go when you get there.
  • Great communication — I’d err on the side of more communication. You may think you’re annoying your photographer with your ideas but I see it as strategic planning. :)
  • Arriving on time to the shoot — if your photographer has another shoot after yours, it may rush your creativity and not be as relaxing if you have to make up for lost time.

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SHOOT PLANNING TIPS FROM TAYLOR OF THE SIMPLE SOL

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I shot these photos with the wonderfully creative Taylor of The Simple Sol in Dallas this year at Local Press & Brew. Taylor was extremely organized as we prepared and brought so much creativity and joy to the shoot — I just loved shooting with her!
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I really wanted to hear how she experienced the shoot on her end and what advice she had for other bloggers preparing for a creative shoot like this. Here’s what she had to say:
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“I would say #1 from a blogger’s perspective is talk out your vision with the photographer prior to the shoot. Make sure you’re on the same page — that way, when it comes time to do the actual shoot, you aren’t wasting time or light by trying to get on the same page.
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I think often bloggers can be hesitant to say what their vision is in fear that they might mess up the photographer’s creativity. But in reality, I think meeting at a coffee shop or talking on the phone, or sending inspiration and ideas through email is a great way to make the shoot the best it can be.
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Hard work and going the extra mile as far as planning with your photography will really set you apart. Two heads are always better than one! The next step in doing the shoot is having a dialogue with each other and still being able to talk about how things are going. Throwing out ideas that come up while you’re on location is another great way to collaborate with your photographer.
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Again, you could feel like you don’t want to suggest something because you’re afraid you might mess up the creative energy, but in the end you want to walk away from a shoot knowing that you explored all the creative options!
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I love working with a photographer on special projects, and I think the power of two creative minds is so much better than one — and those are some of my best projects to date!
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I could not agree more with Taylor. Two people’s ideas are often so much better than just planning on your own, and I love hearing each blogger’s ideas and vision so I can create the best shoot experience possible.
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Do you have any questions about working with a photographer? Leave a comment below this post and I’d love to help.
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Want to work with me? I’m a photographer of bloggers, women entrepreneurs and creatives in Dallas. You can find out more about my sessions and book a shoot with me here. 
 
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  • Cris - I’ve always loved your aesthetic and have been checking your photos on your blog, on others’ blogs and on your Instagram, and love each and every one. I wish I was back in Dallas, I’ve been meaning to work with you but have been living in between DFW and Pittsburgh over the past year. I hope in the future we can collaborate! And great tips. I’ll def keep these in mind.ReplyCancel

    • Megan Weaver - Hi Cris! Thank you so much! I would love to shoot with you when you’re in Dallas sometime – hope the tips are helpful! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shamira West - Great tips Megan. Hopefully, I will be able to do a shoot again soon.ReplyCancel

  • Blog Planning & Inspiration Guide | Style Collective - […] How to Plan a Creative Editorial Shoot for your Blog: Part 4 How to Work with your Blog Photographer […]ReplyCancel

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