PHOTOSHOOT PREP: CALL SHEETS
I love the planning process for shoots. There’s something about taking a vision and thinking through all of the practical aspects that will bring it to life that is really satisfying to me. I wrote about one of the first steps in planning, making mood boards, in this post. Today I want to talk about another really important aspect to planning - call sheets.
Call sheets might seem unnecessary, especially for smaller shoots, but they will actually save you a lot of time and stress on the day of the shoot. They force you to think through all of the details and timing of everything and also communicate to everyone involved what is expected of them.
Most shoots have lots of moving pieces, and call sheets will help ensure that everyone shows up at the right place at the right time with the right equipment. Call sheets also get all the details from your mind onto paper so the day of you don’t need to remember when people are supposed to arrive, or how long you are shooting each outfit because you already have it all written down.
So what should you include in your call sheet?
The date, day and time of the shoot
If there are multiple shoot days, be sure to indicate which day it is, ie. Shoot Day 1 of 2. There should be separate call sheets for each day of shooting.
Earliest call time and latest wrap time
Shoot location name and address
If you will be moving to other locations though out the shoot day be sure to indicate that and include those addresses as well.
Weather and time of sunrise/sunset
If shooting outside.
Schedule with individual call and wrap times
Contact info of the crew
Details on what to bring
Reiteration of the shoot concept
This can be included in the email instead of the call sheet if there is a lot of information in the call sheet already.
Link to the mood board or inspiration photos
This can also be included as a separate link or attachment in the e-mail.
Here is an example of a call sheet that I used for a fairly simple shoot. You can see that I made adjustments to what I included based the fact that we were shooting inside and everyone had the same call and wrap time.
If there is a lot of information, you might want to break out what each person individually needs to know into separate call sheets so that their specific information doesn’t get lost. If the shoot is more simple, you can include everything in one sheet.
Usually call sheets are sent out anywhere from 48-16 hours before the shoot. Sending it out too early can result in having to send other versions due to last minute changes. If you do have to send out additional versions be sure to rename each version so they are easy to distinguish.
It’s a good idea to attach the call sheet as a pdf instead of putting all of the info in the email so that people can easily print it and bring it with them the day of.
I always ask everyone to reply to indicate they received and read all the info. If I don’t hear back from someone then I can reach out to make sure that they know everything they need to know.
I hope this was helpful for you! If you have any other tips for what to include in a call sheet, let us know below.
Is it the weekend yet?