My first photo shoot was a maternity shoot with my best friend/sister-in-law and her husband. The first thing we did was to look at other maternity photos for inspiration. We used Pintrest to create an inspiration board. This also helped in learning her style or type of photos she would like. We came up with about ten different poses to try.
When I arrived at their apartment I walked around. I was looking for the best light and a clean background. I did have to remove some photos that were hanging on a wall. (I asked first and then put them back when we were done.) I had my list or cheat sheet to help remind me of the poses we had decided on.
Then we started taking pictures. We took most of them indoors. Our photo shoot was in February. It’s cold. We did venture out to a park for a couple of photos but it was freezing so we hurried through them.
I am glad my first photo shoot was with family. I had no idea what I was doing. Even though it was family, I was very nervous. I learned a lot from my first shoot.
What I learned on my first photo shoot:
- Bring a step-ladder. I dragged a chair and a wooden box (both supplied by the client) around to stand on
- Have a wide-angle lens available if possible. Shooting in a client’s home can be difficult to find the right angle. During two different poses I had TV and a dresser that made it difficult to get the shots I wanted. I shot with a 50mm; if I had a wide-angle lens (I now have a 28mm) I would have been able to get the shot.
- Go with the flow. While shooting a couple poses my sister-in-law suggested another pose. It was similar but different. I liked having the input and we gave it a shot. (Pun intended)
- If planning an outdoor photo, scout out a location ahead of time. This seems kind of obvious but we drove around for 10-15 min looking for the perfect spot. It took us longer to find a nice spot than it did to take the pictures. (Probably because it was cold out)
- Plan out your poses for easy transitioning from one pose to the next. We jumped around from this room to that room. Tried this pose here, then that pose there.
- Try to keep the shoot short. We were moving around and taking photos for almost four hours. Mary was very enthusiastic through the whole thing but she was exhausted by the end. Remember you are shooting a pregnant lady. When you are pregnant it is harder to move around and you tire easy.
I also gained invaluable experience. I am very thankful that I had this opportunity to learn and capture this special time in my sister-in-law’s life. Most of this may seem like common sense but they are all things I had to learn. We all have to start somewhere and this is where I am at. This was my very 1st photography shoot (my kids don’t really count).
The three biggest lessons I learned during my first photo shoot are to have a plan, have a step-ladder, and have a wider angle lens (if possible). I hope this helps any one starting their adventure in photography.
Any other valuable lessons for us beginners?