Quite often, one of my fashion photoshoots is the first time a business owner has ever worked with a photographer. An exciting yet sometimes daunting task. Being well briefed ensures the shoot goes smoothly, but for anyone thinking of engaging a photographer for the first time I’ve deconstructed my own Christmas card fashion shoot to give you a behind the scenes look at what goes on.

What happened before, during and after the shoot.

Here’s my step-by-step guide to getting the very best results from a photoshoot.


1 Develop the idea, create a mood board of images and write a concise brief. Things to consider in your brief are: What is the brief all about? Why is it needed? What opportunities will it present? Who is the target audience? This way everyone knows the theme or story and the reason for the shoot.
2 Get a creative team on board, who do you need and what task will they perform.
3 Agree a schedule for the day and time frame with your team, everyone should know what is expected of them and how long they have to do it.


1 The photographer and creative team arrive earlier than the model/sitter to unload, unpack and set up. Remember to factor this time in to the schedule.
2 Take time to run through the brief and mood board then confirm timings for each set up.
3 Be aware of time and clock watch through out shoot, whilst paying attention to the details to keep on brief. Changing the step up in between shots does take time so be aware of this when planning out the day.


1 Thank whole team for input and effort on shoot. It sounds obvious as it’s a small thing but it does go a long way, particularly if the day has been long and demanding.
2 Make a short list of images from the shoot. There can be many shots which can be overwhelming so it’s best to short list the strongest images
3 Be clear on your deadline so the images can be processed and delivered in time.

Things that could have gone wrong, and how I would have dealt with them

Good planning comes from experience and can be avoided by thinking ahead. However, some things are beyond your control and occasionally things don’t go to plan. For instance a key person for the shoot is late. Keeping calm and not losing your cool is very important. In this type of situation I make sure that everything is prepped and everyone is ready to go at a moments notice.

If you are thinking of briefing a fashion photographer, this handy download give gives you ten top tips to start the ball rolling.