How to Plan A Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog // Part 2: Creating A Shot List

Part 2 of our Creative Shoot Series is learning how to put together a shot list for your photographer—that not only includes your favorite shots, but also tells a complete story!
I'm excited to share Part 2 of How to Create a Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog — and this shoot with the lovely Kate Padgitt of A Lonestar State of Southern!
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In Part 1 of this series, I shared how you could create a theme or overall story for your shoot. In Part 2, I want to share how you can create a shot list that tells the story of your shoot.
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A shot list is basically a list or collection of images you want to capture during your shoot. You can make them as simple or complex as you want.
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So many bloggers tell me before a shoot “I’ve never done this before,” or “You’re going to have to tell me what to do!” This is completely normal and you’re not alone if you’re nervous — I know how you feel!
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That’s why having a shot list for your shoot is a great idea. You’ll have inspiration and ideas to reference instead of doing the same shot over and over or drawing a blank (hey, it happens!).
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Having a shot list isn’t cheating creativity, it’s preparation. 
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I often bring inspiration to shoots since it lets me mix it up if I'm running low on ideas.
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Here are two steps you can take to create your own shot list (note: you can leave this to your photographer or collaborate together, it’s really up to you).
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Step 1: Based on your shoot's theme or story, pick 3-4 words you want to describe the feel or mood of your shoot and keep those in mind for each image you create.
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I like this piece of advice American photographer Richard Avedon told Cindy Crawford on a shoot — "Have a thought in your head when you're looking at the camera.” This way, she would avoid having a blank stare and make sure her eyes were saying something.
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When you know the story you’re telling and you have that story in mind, you’ll be able to better convey that emotion in each image — and you’ll have a more unified shoot.
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Step 2: Create a list of 5-10 different images for your shoot (add more or less if you want) and remember you can always go off the list.
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Write down as many ideas as you can think of (without holding back or editing yourself). Then refine it down to your favorite 5-10 to try. It might help if you think about how your story starts and ends, and what happens in between.
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Here are a few different ways you can organize the shot list: 
  • Are you a visual person? Make a rough sketch of the images you want — they don't have to be very big or fancy at all.
  • Write it out: Create a bulleted list of the shots you want using as much detail as you need.
  • Needing inspiration? Curate an album of pictures you like so you can reference or modify them to fit your shoot.
Each shoot and theme is unique so everyone’s list will be a little different, just remember to use the story or theme to create actions and emotions that will work for you.
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Here are some shot ideas you can use to help tell the story:
  • Wide shot of the location/surroundings with you in it.
  • Interacting with props relating to your shoot.
  • Detailed shots of clothing and props.
  • Action: walking, twirling, dancing as it relates to the story.
  • Close-ups of you showing emotion (having a thought in mind helps).
Once you’ve created your list, feel free to share with your photographer so the two of you are on the same page. Yay for collaboration!
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Spending time creating this list will absolutely pay off on the day of the shoot. You’ll be able to relax more and not worry about forgetting any of your image ideas.
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Stay tuned for Part 3 of How to Plan a Creative Editorial Shoot for Your Blog in the next few weeks. In the meantime, sign up for my free email course below!
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Do you know a blogger who would find an email course on shooting helpful? Share this link with them to sign up for free!
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P.S. Are you a blogger or entrepreneur in Dallas? I'm currently booking shoots for the fall! You can book a shoot with me here!
Dallas blogger photographer