We're always eager to see the behind-the-scenes, so this one's for all of you curious minds out there who want to know every detail that goes into planning our product shoots. We kinda feel like you're all family, so we can't help but share how we do everything at KJ. Whether you're a photographer, a model, or a KJ customer, we hope that these ten steps to planning a product shoot are helpful and spark some more creativity!
Before anything, we've got to nail down the date of the shoot with a fabulous photographer. For the Stars + Stripes collection, we worked with Cassie Carlson, a recent BYU photography grad who blew us away with her skills! Now, our product shoots are a whole day affair. With hundreds of mix 'n match combos (and we mean hundreds!) we dedicate the day to shooting the entire new collection and our photographer works hard to make that happen.
Once we know the date and time of the photoshoot, it's time to invite our models. We have models who have worked with us from the very beginning and models who are making their first debut. We're always getting asked how to apply to be a model, and it's easy! Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, where you're currently living, your availability, and 3 headshots. We try to bring on as many new models as we can. We love meeting and seeing how you rock our KJ swimmers! Women, men, youth, kids, and babies of ALL ages, sizes and experience levels are needed!
Here it is... the most time consuming part of planning a photoshoot, yet the most rewarding. Remember when we said we have hundreds of mix 'n match combos? Well, this is the time to create every single one of those combinations and get them fully prepped for photoshoot day. Did you know that we mix every color of top with every color of bottoms? It's like a high school math problem, except this time you actually get the fun of seeing every outfit come to life! We have a few tricks up our sleeve to make this less intimidating though. We create a grid system to keep things organized and keep notes to make sure everything is just right. Then, we hang each individual outfit and section them off for each individual model. It's a whirlwind, but it's what we do best!
We use a mix of our own accessories and our favorite brands to create complete, photo-ready outfits. Check out our past photoshoot blog posts to find out where we get some of our favorite accessories. Once we've pulled out all of the sunnies, hats, hair scarves, and more, we lay them out so they're ready for photo shoot day. For our styled shoots, we specifically style the swimmers with accessories to go with a theme. However, our product shoots are unique because each individual gets a new accessory in the moment! This way, together we can choose something that we think will make the perfect addition. The best part is always watching our mini models choosing their own accessories. We love seeing them find a favorite that they can't help but want to take home with them!
Keeping our product shoots organized is KEY! We always use a spreadsheet to plan out every little detail for the day and that includes timing. With mini models, youth, adults, and hair stylists, we have lots of people coming in and out throughout the day. That's why we set apart blocks of time for each group to make things run smoothly. Spreadsheets are truly a lifesaver!
Roll, shake, tape. That's really all it takes to set up a backdrop. The most important thing is getting the backdrop to roll down smoothly to avoid any creases or wrinkles that will create unwanted shadows in the photos. If it starts to crease, we give it a gentle shake and continue. Then, we tape it down and mark the spot for models to stand and viola! You've got a perfect product shoot set. For The Stars + Stripes Collection, we tried something a little new and it's been a huge hit! The mocha colored backdrop looks stunning with the collection and we think we may just have to try more colors in the future!
You didn't think we'd forget snacks, right? All day affairs call for plenty of food, so we usually make a Costco run to ensure nobody gets hangry. With popcorn, crackers, fruit, sandwiches and plenty of water, we're ready to go!
Ok now it's time to double and triple check the list. Are all of the models scheduled? Do we have snacks ready to go? Are all of the swimsuits with their correct match? And do we have a Disney playlist to dance to? (priorities👌🏻) At this point, we're usually about a day away from the shoot, so anything not already on the checklist gets added and we fix any last minute things that come up. There's always something new, so you've got to allow plenty of time to make changes!
When the day of the shoot comes along, you've just got to roll with it! We've prepped and we're as ready as we can be, but there's always something little (or big) that doesn't go according to plan. You can read all about that madness from our recent outdoor styled shoot. If you're prepared though, you can roll with the punches, no problem.
With the right photographer, the best props and fabulous models, things will turn out! It's time to have some fun and just stand back for a minute and think "I love my job!"