Michael Swinkin Photography

4 Steps To Planning A Successful Event Photoshoot

Planning for your family’s special events can be tough. Whether it be a Bar Mitzvah, Bris, or party, ensuring that the essence of your event is documented will require some preparation and clear communication with your photographer. Here is a 4-step guide to follow that will help your event photoshoot be a success.

Initial Meeting / Phone Call With Photographer

It’s important to get on the same page with your photographer. This is the time to provide all the important details about the event, such as time, date, and location. In this meeting, you get to share your vision and communicate your expectations. If you have any special requests that you’d consider a “must-have”, now is the time to discuss them.

Creating A Timeline of the Event

A good photographer will usually find himself in the right place, at the right time. This is not by chance. Planning a structured timeline of your event will provide a road map for your photographer to follow, ensuring that if something of importance is happening soon, the photographer will be standing ready. A timeline should include key moments, such as speeches, performances, and ceremonies.

Pro Tip: Try to include some buffer time to handle any unexpected delays or changes. Events rarely run perfectly on time, and including “extra time” in your schedule will allow the event to proceed stress-free.

Crafting A Shot List

A shot list is exactly what it sounds like –  a list of all the important moments and people you want to

be photographed. This is a fantastic way of making sure that no important moments are missed. If there are any specific shots that you’d like, but may not be totally obvious to the photographer that this moment is a “must-have” shot, include it in the list.

A shot list is also incredibly important if you want family portraits taken before the event. This accomplishes three things: 


1) You won’t have to stress or waste time thinking about which shots you want during the photo session. Just follow the list that you created.

2) Your photographer will be able to provide a better estimate of how much time you should budget for your photo session. If you have a very extensive list of different groups you want photographed, but not enough time budgeted, your photographer will be able to point that out, and therefore avoid having to worry about a potential time crunch at the end of the photo session. 

3) Your photographer will be better prepared. That usually results in better final photos:)

Staying in Touch With Your Photographer

Keeping your photographer up to date on any changes in schedule or location is important. Make sure you have each other’s contact information and open lines of communication. This way you can both handle any last-minute questions or adjustments.

After the event, providing the photographer with feedback on the photos and overall experience is very helpful. This helps them improve their services and become a better photographer.

By following these steps, and maintaining clear communication, you’ve taken a huge step toward ensuring a smooth and successful event with photos that capture the essence of your special vision.

Mazal Tov!

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Photography may be my profession, but preserving your family’s most important moments is what I do. 

If you’re planning an event or family photoshoot, I’d be happy to discuss details with you. Just click the button below to get started!