Planning a photo shoot

3 minute read

How to conduct a productive planning session for a School prospectus/website photo shoot


I had a lovely morning out at a School last week, the purpose was to conduct a tour of the School and plan for the upcoming prospectus and website photo shoot that is booked in for after the Easter break. We had a fantastic morning working together and I’m pleased to say we had a very productive session and I’m ready to work our findings up into a fully working shoot schedule.

As I was driving back home I thought about all the different School photo shoots I have planned and conducted over the years. There is a general pattern to the success of a productive schedule and I thought it might be useful to share with you how we do this here at Lore Creative.

1. Ascertain the overall goal; is there a particular element/angle our client would like to highlight? sport?, academia?, facilities and ground? pastoral? teaching? happy children? Sometimes a mixture of these or even all of the above.

2. Once we know the goal I’ll often spend 10minutes just discussing the style of photography. We find that our clients (more often than not) want natural looking shots, off the cuff style but understand that some prep work may need to go into setting the areas up to best showcase the School in each photograph (tidy a classroom here, complete that notice board there, to give a couple of examples).

3. Next on the list is a tour around the School, this is the bit I love! Each school I visit will have their own USP’s and this tour highlights them. Often my guide will have a list of approximately 6 highlights, e.g. new science labs, the art room and its great displays, an outdoor area where the pupils gather at break, recently refurbished library, their media suite and extra-curricular Robotics club. These are all shown and duly noted as key points for our photo shoot list around the school for the new school website and prospectus.

4. As we are walking around and being shown these highlights, I look out for any hidden gems, any areas that I don’t often see in other schools, anything that will set their photography apart. This might be a small area of one particular classroom that stands out, a wall display that would make an interesting and creative photo, an experiment or class task that would work really well on camera and isn’t often seen etc.

5. At the end of the tour I will take my notes back to our studio in the knowledge that together myself and client have created a shoot list that truly showcases the school.

6. I will then write up my notes in more details with scenario suggestions and help with students numbers and return them to the school with allocated time suggestions for each shot i.e. library shot 15mins with x7 pupils, media suite 20mins with x10 pupils, art room 30mins with x5 pupils.

7. Putting this into the day to day running of the school is the final piece of the puzzle!

I can’t wait for the upcoming photo shoots to start in earnest after the Easter break.

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