The Perfect Product Photography Checklist for 2022

Creating the perfect shot list that fulfills every campaign and marketing photography need can be difficult, especially when it comes to apparel product photography. While other types of photography may rely on props, backgrounds, and sets to complete a shoot, this type of photography often requires specific organization of some more complicated elements. For easy organization and reference, we have created an easy walkthrough of how to approach a modern product photography shot list.

1. What Products Need to be Photographed?

The creative capabilities differ depending on the products that need to be photographed. While shoes may be featured in a lifestyle floor shot, a sweater might be placed, folded in a closet. Sorting out which products are in a campaign or new product launch is a great way to begin developing a shot list. Knowing what different demographics look for when online shopping can direct the creative concepting in a more successful direction.

2. What type of photography are you looking for?

Most options of shots for apparel product photography are relatively straight forward. Some of the most common types include lifestyle photography with models, on-white images with ghost mannequins, or creative product photography with parts modeling. Choosing the type of photography, that will cover all of the formats and media needed, is a great start in deciding the other elements of a shot list.

From here, brands can decide the other aspects of the photoshoot that they wish to be featured in the final deliverables. Determining this can also help studios give an initial estimate for cost, capability, or amount of time that the shoot may take to deliver. Knowing the initial type of shoot, studios can offer more insight into cost, timing, and capability to create the images on the shot list.

3. What Type of Shots Do You Need?

Tequila….just kidding…The type of shots we are talking about here are the camera angles and shot perspectives. For apparel, some examples of these can include top down shots, close up images of textures, group shots of different SKU colors, back view of the clothing etc. These are important to note on any shot list to ensure that a studio or other professional photographer knows how to shoot for the images needed of different products. Including these directions into the shot list is extremely important and need-to-know for any photoshoot.

4. How many images do you need?

While this should be a given, after creating a shot list, it is necessary for all parties to be aware of how many deliverables are included in the contract. From a production standpoint, the amount of images needed affects pricing, scheduling, timing, retouching, and much more. The deliverable count will be included in the initial contract, so it should be thought through while working on the ins and outs of the shot list.

Aforementioned, some aspects that can affect the count can include how many products will need the same shot, which campaigns will be in the retainer/contract signed, and/or what types of images are needed. The costs can add up, so it is important to have internal conversations with all relevant departments to address which products need photography, what the photography will be used for, or what type of products are in the newest campaign.

5. Any Extra Details to Include?

While these “extra details” may seem like an afterthought, they often have a large impact on the final result of photoshoots. These details can involve the overall mood of the set, which props should be included, any technical details, or the color pallet. For apparel shoots, some of these details could be the type of models wanted, the way the fabric should be prepared, or how the product should be styled. Shot lists are a great place to explain these details in order for a photographer or studio to meet the expectations that a brand has in mind for the specific deliverables.

Shot lists can seem quite daunting when staring at a plain excel sheet, unsure of where to start. Whether a brand is just starting up or well-established, shot lists are one of the first humps to clear when beginning the photoshoot process. Following these steps can make the whole ordeal much easier to grasp and can assist any creative team in ensuring that they have not missed any details. Feel free to check out our blog here, for more shot list inspiration!

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