Tips on How To Plan a Fashion Editorial Shoot

Planning any shoot can be intricate and stressful, but fashion editorials sometimes take that even further with the level of preparation you need. Well, here are some key tips on how to better plan that sort of shoot, with some behind the scenes footage.

Perhaps I'm a little biased when it comes to Emily Teague, the photographer guiding us in this video. Not only was she one of our writers, but she's a charming person and a highly talented creative. Nevertheless, this video is a brilliant insight into what goes into a high-end fashion editorial, particularly in the planning phase.

I've shot fashion editorials, magazine editorials, and lots in between for a multitude of different client aesthetics, and though my process has to alter from shoot to shoot in some way or another, I certainly have strands that run through them all, especially when I am preparing. The most common feature of my preparation is one Teague highlights too, and it's one I've written an article or two on the importance of: mood boards. They seem like an innocuous congregation of images you liked, but they serve more purposes than you might think. Firstly, they're crucial for synergy within the team of people you assemble for the shoot, but even if you were flying solo, they help direct the model and, moreover, they keep you ticking when you have dips in inspiration. Even on shoots where you are practically vibrating with ideas, you will eventually run dry and need a push. In those instances, I open up my mood board and look for something a little different; all I need is a spark of an idea.

A bonus tip is to ensure your subject looks through the board. Sometimes it will give them an idea, and you just let them run with it. You never know what you might end up capturing that you wouldn't have thought of.

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Robert!!! Thank you SO much for featuring this and for the kind words! <3

GREAT video! Thank you for sharing your experience!

Quick question, when you submit a editorial, are you paying your team or is it a TFP arrangement? If TFP....what is your agreement with your team?

Hi Brian! Sorry for the delay in response-
If I'm submitting for an editorial instead of getting hired for one then it's just TFP for my entire team :)