I could not be more passionate about collaborating with others to bring stories and ideas to life through photography. I’ve been photographing for magazines, newspapers and small and large business for several years, and I’m excited to bring some of that knowledge to you. Below are my tips on hiring a photographer and maximizing your photoshoot.
It all starts with a phone conversation so you can express your goals for the photos.
Be sure to communicate your brand’s style and aesthetic. Photographers are visual people – creating a mood board is a great way to illustrate your vision, Pinterest is an excellent tool for this. You should also provide your photographer with websites or Instagram feeds that you aspire to look like.
Ask if your photographer will bring an iPad, tablet, or laptop to the shoot so you can view the images as they are taken. This allows you to give feedback in the moment— photoshoots should be a collaborative effort.
Before the Shoot
Discuss your ideas with the photographer and fill them in on your goals for the photos. They have the experience to help you select locations and lighting to achieve the look you envision.
Ask your photographer how much direction will be given during the shoot – this is something most photographers will do naturally, but not all will.
If you are the subject of the photos, consider hiring a stylist, makeup artist, and/or scheduling a blowout. It’s normal to feel overdone on a photoshoot versus presenting your everyday look.
The Day of the Shoot
Have an itinerary written out with locations, phone numbers, and a list of shots you want to capture. Communicate to your photographer how you plan to use the photos.
Tell your photographer how you intend to use the photos. Do the photos need to be horizontal for a website? Should they be shot wide so you can crop them down to a square for Instagram? Or should they be vertical to run large, such as in a magazine? Should the photographer leave space at the top of the photo for a masthead, or to the side for a logo or text?
Think about the details that speak to your brand. Ask your photographer to capture your hands holding something and include plants, textures, and design details that strike your eye.
If you are the subject of the photos, speak up for yourself. Tell your photographer what angles look best on you. If you feel awkward doing a pose, it will show on the final image. Tell your photographer about any insecurities you may have so they can work around that. It could be your posture, braces, hair type – be honest about what bugs you in photos of yourself so they can highlight what doesn’t!
If you are the subject, it’s a great idea to bring a friend who can help with things like holding an extra pair of shoes or making sure your hair is looking its best. They can also make suggestions that fit your personality and help you relax and smile.
Be sure to discuss what’s included in your photographer’s creative fee and/or day rate. Some photographers also offer a half-day rate.
Ask how many photos come with the package they are offering and what your expectations should be for the delivery turnaround.
Between hairstyles, outfits, styling, props, and the photographer’s fee, photoshoots can add up in cost. But think about how often you are going to use these photos in the future. The pictures will get tons of use in the years to come, so it’s important to budget for a proper photoshoot.
Kate Thornton has a deep appreciation for art, design, and craftsmanship. Whatever her subject, she can hone in on the creativity and spark, finding beauty in every shot. Working with Kate feels easy and natural. She has a calm, unassuming demeanor, making her comfortable and confident in her work.
Collaborating with clients before each shoot to plan every detail, Kate brings an element of organization and professionalism to the job. She meticulously plans ahead, allowing her to relax behind the camera knowing that everything is in place.
Visual from an early age, Kate has always been drawn to the photos in glossy magazines, taking in the trends and studying the lighting. She credits her grandmother for helping to nurture that artistic eye. One of her most treasured items, a painting given to her by her grandmother when she was just 8 years old, still hangs prominently on the living room wall. Her family filled their homes with local artwork, picking up original pieces wherever they traveled.
At home, Kate and husband Chris immerse themselves in the lives of their two young daughters, spending family time at the beach, initiating impromptu dance parties, and creating sidewalk chalk masterpieces. It is this authentic freedom at home and work that defines her and her photography.