Getting the most out of your shoot

So, you’ve booked your school prospectus photographer for the day – maybe even two! How do you get the most from your investment? Here are my top tips as a school prospectus photographer:

  • Timetables aren’t just for the students. Put your photographer on a timetable, ideally allowing a full lesson per subject (it takes around 15 minutes to get to the lesson, set your lights up etc).  It’s tempting to think you’ll get the most from sending them into a huge variety of classes or letting them pick where to go on the day, but the more structured, the better. Make sure your photographer has prior sight of this, so they can highlight any issues.
  • Permissions. There’s nothing worse than finding a perfect shot has a child without permission (or having to spend hours identifying faces!). Avoid this situation by pre-checking class lists and listing in the timetable students without permission so your photographer can discreetly avoid taking their photo.
  • Pre-communicate with staff. Make sure teachers know that the photographer will be arriving and when. Ask them to consider running some activities that are visually interesting, with colour – they will know the activities that will work.
  • Uniform requirements. Make sure your photographer knows the specifics of uniform – a good photographer will automatically make sure your students look smart, but if bracelets and earrings are not allowed, make sure they they are aware to look out for these.   
  • Storage. Your photographer is likely to have lights and plenty of kit! Try and assign them a secure location so time isn’t wasted moving kit around.
  • Look at your banks of photos. Already got lots of Science experiments but lacking PE shots? Make sure your photographer knows where you want them to focus their attention.
  • Quality, not quantity. It’s easy to think the time setting up lighting and setting up a shot would be better spent snapping away. However, it is better to have ten stunning shots you can use than 40 that aren’t of the right quality for your school prospectus. The preparation time will give you a quality shot. It may feel like more time is spent setting up than shooting but don’t panic, you’ll still have PLENTY of shots to choose from!
  • Feed and water! Finally, your photograph will REALLY appreciate being fed and watered during the day. They will probably eat on the run, so will be very grateful for this.

Want to some help and advice about planning your shoot? Chris is happy to offer no obligation advice  – contact him here