Three Steps to a Successful Commercial Los Angeles Shoot


Commercial shoots tend to have a lot moving parts to them. There’s shot lists, organization, and making sure that all parties on board are on the same page. Here are three things that will help you have a successful shoot.


Get It In Writing

Contracts are a vital part of any shoot where you’re trading services for monetary value. Contracts outline the scope of the project, from who you’re working with, to how you plan to get paid, to when you plan to deliver the photos and how. By having a contract, both you and the client know exactly when everything is supposed to happen and can start the project together on the same page. Among other things, contracts should include:

  • Client Information

  • Your Information

  • Job Information (Is this work for hire?)

  • Project Scope + Additional Fees for Extra Revisions/Add-ons

  • Due Date of Deliverable

  • Delivery Method (Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, etc.)

  • What Happens if Either Party Fails to Meet Its Part of the Contract

  • Who Owns the Work?

  • Copyrights and Permission to Edit

  • Method of Deposits and Payments (Additional Tip: Make sure to get a deposit of at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the project total.)

By having a clearly defined contract, the expectations for both you and your client are in legally binding writing and all parties involved know what to expect from each other during the course of the project. By starting with clear expectations, it can make the whole project easier for everyone.


Shot Lists Are Wonderful

Shot lists are beautiful things. These are the deliverable that you plan on giving to the client on completing the shoot and all the edits. The list includes details such as:

  • Shot Order

  • Location

  • Shot Angle

  • Subject

  • Shot Description

Shot lists are used to keep you on time as you work throughout the shoot. The more detail you can provide in the shot list the better, as it helps the client understand the vision for the shoot, and helps with efficiency.


Follow Up

Following up with the client after the shoot is a great way to keep the relationship going after photos and funds have been exchanged. Not only does this show that you care about the client’s priorities after submitting the work, it reminds them of the value you have given them after shooting. Building relationships with people is vital to success and by building an on-going relationship, you can continue to build and have happy, satisfied clients.


Wrapping Up

By having all your plans documented, organizing your shots so you know what’s been shot when, and following up with your client, you can create an environment that is conductive to a successful shoot, whether it’s in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City or Washington, DC.

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