Top 3 Benefits of Creating a Shot List
Once my client and I have nailed down what wardrobe outfits she’s going to wear during her session, I like to create a shot list and there are 3 really great reasons why I do this.
It keeps me focused. One of the most common issues photographers have when they first start photographing boudoir is knowing how to pose and what to do. A lack of confidence and experience can lead to a few quiet moments of wondering what to do next and then the nerves set in. This was no different for me when I first started. So I originally began writing a shot list so I didn’t have those moments. That list allowed me to flow right through my session, and that allowed me to look and feel more confident and more professional. Because it gave me time to think ahead, I could also try new things without feeling self-conscious because I always had a back up pose in case the first didn’t work out.
It keeps me on track. In the beginning, I tended to overcompensate with looooooong sessions, where I just clicked away because I was so nervous that I wasn’t getting what I wanted or worse, what my client wanted. This led to a lot of sessions that went too long, which not only resulted in tiring me out, but also exhausting my client, not to mention the daunting task of having to go through and cull through off of those photos, which resulted in me choosing too many…and then having to edit too many…you get the point. Once I started cultivating shot lists the timing of my sessions got way better, and then so did all the other things I list above.
It gives my client time to bond with my stylist. This is important to the experience because my stylist stays for the session and is present during shooting so I need my client to feel comfortable with my stylist. If you don’t offer styling and won’t have this time to put a shot list together, make sure you get photos of your client ahead of time and the wardrobe pieces she’s bringing so you can get an idea of what you want to do. Try putting a tentative shot list together. Even if you don’t fully stick to it, I guarantee it will keep you on track and infuse a bit of confidence into what you’re doing because you will at least have direction.
I include 3 outfits in my sessions so it’s really easy for me to create a shot list because I already know I’m going to do one outfit on my charcoal wall (typically including standing poses, a few stool/sitting poses or chair poses), one outfit on the bed and one outfit on the couch. I have my basic 7 flow poses for each set so those are almost always a must, but I typically also include a few other poses depending on the outfit or the woman and what vibe I’m getting from her. Once you get into a rhythm you may decide you don’t even need or want a list. Sometimes. Go without just to see if something fresh pops up. Either way, it’s a great tool to keep a good flow on session day.