Storyboarding Your Photoshoots

Coming from an outsiders perspective, someone who doesn’t necessarily do this for a living, I can tell you that I caught on pretty quickly on how very easily a typical photoshoot can become this undesirable complex creature. Up to this point, everything I’ve shot for my own personal growth and enlightenment, I’ve always walked into it having a nebulous idea concerning concept and execution.

Because my approach for the majority of what I’ve been shooting lately is from a lifestyle approach, I kinda always assumed that the act of capturing people in situations, in real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner is something I would figure out on the fly as I went along. So far it’s worked but there’s invariably been those moments where I’ve gotten tensed trying to figure out what other shots I need or could take while evaluating what I’ve shot so far. In my mind, I’m lacking structure which is absolutely crucial and at that moment it hit me. “I need to start writing things down” because it will only force me to think clearer about ideas as well as help me track where and what I may be missing.

But as visual people, what’s better than just writing stuff down? How about a storyboard? A visual representation of everything we hope to accomplish way before you step foot on set. This is exactly what Ben Sasso does and it’s a vital component to his process which I’m stating now that I’ve 100% adopted this structure. What’s even greater is I actually have a compelling enough reason to finally utilize the ridiculous amount of beautifully crafted notebooks I spend money on as I try to convince myself I’ll use it but never do.

Here’s Ben reflecting on his old method of shooting which pretty much aligns with what I use to do until now -

When I first started shooting, I would spend absolutely no time planning my shots. I would focus tons of time and energy into every other aspect (location, wardrobe, mood, etc) but in some weird turn of events, it must have slipped my mind that the end goal is “The Shot.” How that slipped my mind still baffles me.

Here's to how Ben thinks now -

Getting my ideas onto the page and spending time with them not only helps them become more developed, but it almost always gives me completely different ideas that I can come back to later for another project or shoot. So if you don’t have one yet, please do yourself a favor and pick up a journal.

I have a shoot with a good friend at the end of month at a location I’ve already scouted and paid for so I’m not only excited to shoot but also to report back on how much more valuable having a storyboard or a shot list for everything will contribute to a more seamless outcome.