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Six Steps To Develop Great Photoshoot Ideas

Pin up photography

How do I come up with good ideas?

Some people find it hard to come up with photoshoot ideas,  you have to live and breath photography, and photography ideas should be something you always have turned on in the back of you mind.

 Keep an open mind

When you are walking around doing your daily tasks, which normally aren’t photography related, keep a section of your mind open to new ideas and concepts, that flash of inspiration which can come any time.

For example the way we came up with the photoshoot ideas for our modern pin up photography shoot was a bit left of field and at the time I was not thinking of photography at all. I was shopping for a dress for the melbourne cup, as it turned out the dress I bought was inspired by a 1950′s design and I needed a matching handbag. That was when I first met Lisa-ellen, she was working in retail and I asked the question do you know anything about the 1950s style. Well I was talking to the right person.  We started brainstorming ideas and a few months later the 1950 pin up photography shoot was a reality.

 It really is a matter of keeping an open mind and taking advantage of the opportunities as they arise, sometimes an opportunity presents itself to you but the timing just isn’t right. Well that could be a wasted opportunity, push yourself to be that little bit better and seize the opportunity.

Here Are Six Steps To Develop Great Photoshoot Ideas:-

Write down your photoshoot ideas

Get yourself a notebook and carry it with you to jot down some ideas that float through your mind every day. You never know one of these ideas could turn to a brilliant photoshoot in the future.

If you have a few photoshoot ideas already in the brainstorming process, it is a great resource for future photoshoots

Get organised

Record your thoughts, may seem weird but when you are driving in the car for example, you may see locations for possible photoshoots. Write these locations down, or better still record them on your GPS for future reference. The more organised you are the easier it will be for you to recall these locations and ideas when you need them.

I like to get my camera out and photograph the location, and if there is a street sign to photograph that too. When I get back to my computer I put my photos in a folder plus write a bit about my ideas for that location. Yes it does require a bit of extra work, but when you have to come up with a location for a photoshoot in a hurry, half of the planning is already done.


Start with a blank page or screen, and start writing down notes. Ask yourself good quality questions. What do you want to achieve from the photoshoot? What genre? What theme? What location is important? Will I be working in a studio or out doors? Do I need to hire a model? What look am I trying to achieve? Do I want to capture emotion, what kind?

One question will then follow with another question. Keep asking questions until you have exhausted that line of questioning. Look at your notes and you will have already started to define the look and feel of your photoshoot. Knowing what you don’t want can be just as important as what you do want.

Brainstorming with a group of people can help drag out great ideas too. Have you ever noticed that when you start talking to another person, ideas just start to roll off your tongue?

Start a collection images book

If you are a portrait photographer, having a selection of poses is a great idea, it can take some time to collect these images, however the sooner you start your collection the better.  You can collect your own from magazines and keep a clip board of images that have poses you like, or want to try out.

Use your Idle time wisely

The next time you are waiting in traffic, waiting to pick the kids up from school. It doesnt matter where you are and you are waiting, use the time to look around at your surroundings, you never know- the person sitting next to you may be your next model, makeup artist or source of inspiration. You may just have the five minutes you need to think clearly and realise the next photoshoot idea you have been searching for is literally in front of you.

Photoshoot ideas are everywhere, and can turn up when you least expect them. Take the time to stop during your daily routine and write down or record your ideas so you dont forget and have a brilliant idea pass you by.

 There are ideas all around us and in front of us every second of our day. It’s a matter of being aware of what is around you.

Photographers are visual people, so be on the look out for things during your daily routine that attract your attention – see if any inspiration starts to develop. Great ideas don’t have to be finalised over night. Great ideas are like good wine and need time to mature from ideas into reality.

I know it seems too simple to be true. When we slow our lives down enough to stop and be aware of what is around us, the flow of inspiration can be overwhelming and a wonderful experience. Harness this new found inspiration and enjoy the creative process as much as the photographs you take.

Have You Got Any Idea On What Takes A Good Photo?

Share them below….

Warm Regards



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