How To Make A Photography Shot List

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Spontaneity and creativity are the name of the game when it comes to photography.
But you don’t desire your work to get disorganised. And your workflow difficult to manage.
The solution? A shot list! Hither is our guide on how to manage your photography workflow with a shot list.

What Is a Shot Listing?

Close up portrait of a female model posing by a door frame

In layman’due south terms, a shot listing is a checklist of the images you want to capture during a shoot.
The terminology used to employ to films and television shows. Only present, shot lists apply to photography in equal measure out.
A shot list comes in many shapes and forms, and no i method works for all. Shot lists can be a checklist of written notes in a notebook or sketches on a paper pad. Or something more advanced like 3-dimensional renderings.
Some shot lists are fifty-fifty storyboard-fashion illustrations, like a comic book.
However y’all express your ideas, a shot list organizes them into a ‘to do’ listing for a photo shoot.

When Should You Use a Shot List?

A female model posing outdoors with occurrence of artistic lens flare

In all honesty, you should apply a shot list all the fourth dimension. Information technology makes things so much easier, even if it’s only a mental map.
These are the master sessions where a shot listing is indispensable:

Wedding Photography

For such a in one case-in-a-lifetime moment, there is no room for error. Y’all’ll never go that moment back.
Wedding photographers often utilise a shot list for the entire event. It ensures they capture the key moments. The shot list as well helps them plan compositions and shooting arrangements.
Larger weddings often accept second shooters. If there is more than than one lensman present at the nuptials, use a shot list to delegate.
Each photographer will know what they’re subsequently, and in that location volition be no duplicates in the mix.

Event Photography

Much similar weddings, events are also all nigh capturing that right moment.
Whether it is a altogether party or an industry mixer, a shot list tin help you and your client organise.
They’ll know what to expect from y’all, and you lot’ll know what to provide.
Atmospheric shot of a female fire-dancer - photography workflow

Commercial Photography

Very, very few commercial photography sessions occur without a shot list. Especially for loftier contour clients or complex shoots.
Think of the shot list as a tentative storyboard. It organizes the story of the advertizement.
Even earlier you lot selection up the camera, the shot list helps solidify whether an advertising is effective or not.
The list then maximizes your use of fourth dimension and ensures no fundamental shot is left out.
A live concert photography shot of a guitarist onstage

All kinds of photography can benefit from a shot listing. From portraits to pets to even products, a shot list works for all.
I fifty-fifty utilize shot lists when I photograph live concerts. Even though that scenario is so unpredictable.
Photo sessions that you have no control over still need a game plane.
My music clients know what kind of photographs they’re after. Past using a shot list, I can narrow my focus down to the shots that are needed.
And I’m not overwhelmed by trying to photo everything.

How Can a Shot Listing Ameliorate Your Piece of work?

A female model posing against red background - portrait photography shot list

For starters, the need to make a shot list helps open dialogue between yourself and your client. But some photographers struggle with getting information from their subjects.
By creating a shot list, you have opened the advice door wide. You can ask your clients everything you demand to know about their photo shoot.
Inquire them what their intention for the photographs are, what kind of compositions they like. And anything else yous think is relevant.
A shot list also helps manage your client’south expectations. No i wants a disappointing photograph shoot considering there was miscommunication about what is possible.
By using a shot listing as a game program, y’all tin brand sure that your client is well aware of the limits of the photograph session. And that they empathise what to look from your services.
The shot listing also acts as on-paper proof. Your client can’t claim that you missed a shot that wasn’t disclosed to you.
Interesting portrait of a female model posing in a room with high colums

The biggest benefit is that a shot list helps make the most of your (and your client’due south) fourth dimension.
Yous’ll spend less time trying to come up with concepts on the spot and more fourth dimension taking the photographs you lot need to.
If you’re doing an outdoor session, the shot list can help organize the time of day that you lot take specific images. These include dusk or golden hr photographs.
Finally, a shot list ensures that no critical images are missing from your photograph shoot.
Nothing is worse than not capturing a photo that your client really, actually wanted.
The shot list also helps the customer figure out what kind of photographs they want to walk away with.

How to Create a Shot List

A male model posing against red background - portrait photography shot list

Have a consultation with your customer and hash out their purpose, needs, wants, and expectations for the photo shoot.
2. Write down all of the shots that freely come to listen.
Narrow down the list and exclude duplicate shots or those that do not fit the narrative of the shoot.
Present the shot list to the client. And so edit the list until both parties are satisfied.

Quick Tips for Photographing With a Shot List

A portrait of a female model indoors - photography shotlist

The full general components of a shot list include the “must haves”, “detail shots”, “wide shots”, and “shut ups.” Information technology’s a good idea to break your list down into sections.
Don’t forget candid shots! Fifty-fifty surmising candid moments in a shot list is constructive.
When presenting a shot list to your client, call back that they are not photographers.
It is e’er a good idea to include some samples of editing styles, limerick, artful. Any other image representations of your idea to the customer are too useful.
Avoid using difficult photography terminology that your client may not empathise. Aye, aperture and lite refraction count.
This helps them be on the same folio with you and visualize what y’all’re trying to tell them.
A black and white portrait of a male model - photo shoot shot list

At the photo shoot, sync your shot listing to your phone, smart spotter, or other small device.
That mode y’all tin can always pull it upwardly for reference at a moment’southward discover.
A creative portrait photo of a female model arising from pink floorboards

It’s okay to become off script sometimes. Yes, we stress the importance of a composed shot list.
your creativity has to take a backseat! At present exit there and take bright photographs with your shot lists!


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