Tanya Foster

Do you ever wonder how these photo’s are curated? Yes, a professional photographer takes them but they don’t magically just happen. Today I am taking you through the process of how this all magically happens. I have 5 Tips on How to Prep for a Photo Shoot and they could help you too!

This blog publishes a new post 4-5 times a week at 6:00 AM. It is then distributed via e-mail at 9:00 AM to my subscribers. Additionally, it circulates on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn. To say that the imagery of the daily blog post is a top priority for me is an understatement. All of these digital platforms are a visual experience. Yes, I do hope that you actually read the blog post, but I know you are looking at the pictures.

I’ve been blogging for six years. SIX YEARS! Can you believe that? There are thousands of pictures on this site and on social media. Through the years I have learned a few tricks that have made this process a little easier. They might translate to every day photos that you take or even your family photo session. Either way, I hope you find this blog post helpful.

xoxo – Tanya

P.S. I am speaking on this topic at a photography workshop tomorrow. Wish me luck!

photo: Audrie Dollins



5 Tips on How to Prep for a Photo Shoot

jcpenny one pant dressy casual weekend

  1. Professional images circulate the web. It’s simple, really. Great pictures catch people’s attention. Since you are most likely posting your blog post images on all social media platforms, you want it to get noticed! Reposting, sharing and getting a brand’s attention is the name of the game! Hiring a professional photographer is the first step in making sure you are going to meet this goal. Also, brands approach me for collaborations because they like what they see on this site. Keeping the aesthetic consistent is important!


Fun at the State Fair of Texas with Draper James

2. Aesthetics matter, so chose your location wisely. You may not know it, but I have a format that I use for this blog. 5-7 images shot by my photographer loaded vertically, which encourages you to scroll down and read. While I always style every one of my blog posts, the photographer captures the mood, style and tone. She also edits the pictures and gives me back the very best from our shoot day. To that end, think about what you are trying to convey in the pictures you are taking. Is it a casual outfit? Dressy ensemble? Product shot? Make-up? This needs to be decided BEFORE the photographer meets you for your shoot. It also figures into how many locations you will need and how much you will get done in one photography session. The photo above was shot at the State Fair of Texas. That meant that we were going to only shoot 2-3 looks that day due to location and travel time.


Mary Kay eye patches on a bathroom counter

beauty products laying on a closet floor

3. Prep, prep and prep some more! As a blogger you wear many hats. Writer, subject matter, photography model, editor, brand management, contract negotiations. invoicing, bill collector, business manager… need I go on? You do not have time to take on the photography component and keep the rest in tip-top shape. I have a shot list ready and everything we are going to shoot in our session pressed, organized and ready. For example: If we are shooting products in my bathroom, I have cleared all of my daily items off of my vanity (see them laying on the floor in my closet) and preset the product we will be shooting. Notice that I have taken the time to add fresh flowers to the vanity. No product/brand wants to be on a counter with a product that might be a competitor.


Using the Rowenta steamer to press white jeans

4. Before your photography session, do your homework. If you are shooting fashion content, you need all the clothes, accessories and anything else to style the look. Because we order everything online, it is shipped directly to me. Guess what? It’s always in a box, folded and wrinkled. I give myself 2 weeks from the time I order something to the time I will actually shoot it. That gives the order plenty of time to arrive, get prepped, styled and shot. The same goes for beauty products. In a pinch, I’ve been known to run to a retailer the day before a photoshoot. I can shoot 4-6 different looks/campaigns in a two hour photography session. The prep work is instrumental to keeping things moving. It’s a lot of steaming, ironing, chasing down shipments and staying organized. It also helps keep you from being frazzled.


Clothes pulled for a photo shoot in a closet

5. Under promise and over deliver! This has been my mantra on everything I do. Charity work, consulting work and now – my blog. Branded content and sponsored collaborations don’t just fall in my lap; they take carefully curated pitches and idea sharing to land the deal. What can I do for the brand? These companies spend marketing dollars with me to get their brand noticed. They expect professionalism and quality work. Imagine if my blog post and social media included sub par imagery and story telling. Would you pay for that? You get the picture. Brands come back to me over and over again because they know they will get great pictures and good content. Doing the prep work, thinking ahead about locations and being two steps ahead of my photographer is all part of my job. Going the extra mile will always pay off!

Any other tips and tricks you are curious to know? I’d love to share my advice with you!

xoxo – Tanya

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Tanya Foster photo shoot




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