How to Make the Most of Your Time Shooting with a Photographer

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One major responsibility of a blogger, or any content creator for that matter, is actually creating the content that is being pushed out for all to see. It sounds funny when I type it out, but it’s true! Whether you’re using a tripod and a remote to shoot outfit posts, playing the role of photographer for your food blog, have a friend or family member taking your photos, or have a photographer that you work with, it takes a lot of time and energy to push out content you’re proud of. 

I’ve always gone back and forth between shooting with a photographer, shooting content myself, and even (somehow) convincing my college-aged brother to lend a helping hand but man oh man, do I love the ease of shooting with a photographer! I get it, it’s an investment, but between juggling my 9-5, the blog, freelancing, and my social life, working with a photographer makes the most sense for my schedule. (Yes, I do still shoot my own content and with my brother from time to time, but 75% of my content is created with my girl Caroline!)

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If you’re on the fence about hiring a photographer for your blog or have been itching to make the most of your investment, I’ll tell you this: just like anything else you spend money on, you want your investment to be worth it. That might mean trying out several photographers before finding the one that works best for you or rearranging the way you prep for your shoots, either way – here are my best tips to make the most of shooting with a photographer so your money isn’t wasted. 

Create a Shot List

When you shoot with a photographer, you want to keep in mind where you are shooting and how long you have to shoot. Some photographers shoot by the hour, some by the outfit. Personally, my photographer shoots by the hour, making it easy to plan out how I’m going to take advantage of my time.

Whether you’re shooting at home or on location somewhere, or have an hour or five, the same thing is going to be true – you’re going to have a lot of things to shoot, small details, and most likely outfit changes. To help avoid forgetting to shoot something to get a specific shot, you’ll want to create a shot list. 

If you’ve never created a shot list, you’re going to want to set it up so it looks something like this! I’ve found that this specific set up doesn’t necessarily work for me, so I constructed my own “to shoot” list laying out the details of what content I’m shooting for, what I’m wearing, any accessories/small details, the types of shots I want, and some inspo pics. I then not only print out a copy of this document for myself, but I also email it over to my photographer the day before so we can both be prepared for our time together

Prep the Night Before

There have been so many times I’ve procrastinated prepping for a shoot until the day-of and let me tell you – I always regret it 🤪 The only time prepping for a shoot the day of really works is if you are shooting in the afternoon/evening or are willing to get up a few hours before you need to be. Since I typically shoot in the mornings to get it out of the way and still have the entire day ahead of me, prepping the night has been a game-changer. I’ve even gone as far as picking up the car the night before so I don’t have to shlep a bunch of shit down four flights of stairs at 9 AM. 

Select Your Shoot Location Wisely

If you are planning to shoot on-location somewhere and have a lot of content you need to shoot, make sure you pick your shoot location wisely! Think about the colors you’ll be wearing and a location that has several different areas you can shoot in for different backgrounds. 

When I shoot in Boston, I love shooting in the financial district, Beacon Hill, and the Fenway area. I also love shooting along State Street in Newburyport!

Communicate with Your Photographer

Communicating with your photographer before, during, and after your shoot is crucial to making the most of your time together (and your investment!). Before your shoot, make sure to touch base with your goals for the shoot, any content you will be shooting, and any other details they will need to know. This is also where your shoot list is going to come in!

During your shoot, make sure you’re vocal about different poses and shots that are important to you. The last thing you want is to be disappointed in your photos and have to schedule a re-shoot (aka more time and money!).

Always be sure to express how thankful you are to the photographer for their time and offer any feedback post-shoot on how much you love your photos and the time you spent together.

What are your best tips for making the most of your time shooting with a photographer?

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Madewell Northside Vintage Tee / Levi’s 721 Ankle High-Waist Skinny Jean in Carbon Wash / I.AM.GIA Stefani Coat / Everlane The Day Tote Mini / Sam Edelman Loraine Loafers / BaubleBar Alexa Stud Earrings / Ray-Ban Original Aviators

Photography By: Caroline The Photographer

Leave a Reply


  1. 3.11.20
    Rach said:

    I definitely need to do better at being more organized in my shoots! Prepping the night before is helpful!

    • 3.11.20
      Rachel said:

      I finally started prepping more and it makes everything SO much less stressful and overwhelming!

  2. 3.11.20
    Alex said:

    Communication is key!! Even when shooting the photos, I definitely try to communicate with my photographer and have them tell me what looks good and doesn’t through the lens.

    Alex |

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Yes! I totally agree!

  3. 3.11.20

    These are great tips! I find I’ll often leave everything up to the photographer, and miss out on some shots I was wanting.

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      I used to do that and would always be so bummed!

  4. 3.11.20
    Lizzie said:

    These are such great tips fo getting the most out of hiring a photographer, especially creating a shot list and prepping!


    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks, Lizzie!

  5. 3.11.20
    Lee said:

    These are such great tips! I just downloaded your shoot list template, thanks so much for sharing that! My biggest tip I would say is to have a list of all your outfits in your phone! I find when working with a photographer you want to not waste time so are doing your outfit changes super quickly and so it’s easy to forget little accessories/details of your outfit. I make sure to list out what jewelry, shoes etc I using for each look and quickly check I have everything on before my photographer starts shooting.

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      YAY! Hope you love it! Having your outfits listed out in your phone is so smart, too!

  6. 3.11.20
    Em said:

    so many great points! I do most of these and always try to have some point of reference if I have an idea so that we can make sure we’re on the same page.

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks, Emily!

  7. 3.11.20
    Kate said:

    Such good advice! I’ve never shot with a professional photographer before (I usually tap my sister or mom in the rare times that I take pictures of myself), but I definitely want to at some point. It feels like a blogger milestone!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Bringing your family into your hobbies is always so fun!

  8. 3.11.20
    Kara said:

    I’m always SO anxious before I shoot with a photographer. Definitely bookmarking this for next time because these are really great tips! Thank you!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Don’t be! Everyone is always in an awkward limbo. I hope the list helps!

  9. 3.11.20
    Stephanie said:

    Yes to ALL of this! I just got done planning out all the outfits for my shoot later on this week. I took photos of all the outfits on, then researched to see which items were in stock and which I needed to have alternate links for, and then wrote down each outfit and the details down to accessories + their locations so that I’m ready to go! The night before, I pack everything but the outfit I start with, and then hopefully have a successful and not-so-lengthy shoot!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      LOVE that you check the links beforehand! There’s nothing worse than shooting an outfit and several pieces being sold out!

  10. 3.12.20
    Emely said:

    Great tips! I’ve shot with professionals before but prefer to do it with my spouse. We recently purchased a new camera. Same rules apply. I try to be as organized and thoughtful as possible. Especially because with my wife, I only have an hour before she gets bored.

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Ouuuu love that you’re able to shoot with your S.O.! Such a fun activity to do together and it saves you money!

  11. 3.12.20
    Margot said:

    Such great tips.
    I’m always last minute asking my husband to take my pictures. I never experienced it with a photographer yet.
    And your leopard coat is stunning !

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks Margot!!

  12. 3.12.20

    Great tips….love that jacket too, so cute!!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Aw, thanks Sarah!

  13. 3.12.20
    Caitlin said:

    These tips are so helpful for someone just starting out! I always have a shot list and try to prepare at least a day beforehand when I’m doing a big shoot (with myself or a photographer!)

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks, Caitlin! Love that you prepare in advance too. It makes it so much easier!

  14. 3.12.20
    Ashley Hargrove said:

    I love this post! You do a lot of the same things I do too! The one thing that I need to work on is being less picky with my shots and just go with the flow because we shoot FOREVER which means lots of $$ haha!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks, Ashley!! Being prepared is so important, it makes everything so much easier!

  15. 3.12.20

    Love this breakdown! Planning and prepping for a shoot in advance is the best advice to make sure you get exactly what you want out of it. Anytime I can create a mood board for my shoots, I also find that super helpful as well 🙂

  16. 3.12.20
    Elise said:

    SO classic and so beautiful!! In love with your coat!

    xx, Elise

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks, Elise!

  17. 3.13.20
    greta said:

    My husband was my photographer for a while but when he got a new job, I had to start hiring a photographer. It’s so important to find someone you have good chemistry with!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      YES! I totally agree! When I shoot with Caroline, we’re goofing around half of the time!

  18. 3.13.20
    Hillary said:

    First of all, these photos are SO cute!! I need to remember to make a shot list next time – that’s a great idea!

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks, Hillary!!

  19. 3.14.20

    Great advice here. I have been on both sides of the camera and these are spot on!

    Allie of

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks Allie!!! Being prepared makes all the difference!

  20. 3.15.20

    These are some really beautiful photos. I would so love to try a photo shoot, so these tips will be really helpful xo

    Makeup Muddle

    • 3.16.20
      Rachel said:

      Thanks girl!