Prepping the ultimate pre-production checklist

How to succeed for any photo or video shoot

When Lamborghini contacted me earlier this year I was thrilled to have an opportunity to work with them. The idea of producing still images and video for a brand like theirs sounded crazy to me.

Keep in mind when producing visuals for a brand with the status of Lamborghini many things need to be taken into consideration, but one thing is for sure, you need to be prepared for ALL stages of production.

And how do you put yourself in the position to succeed?

Well it’s all about the pre-production stage, which is absolutely crucial for all projects you take on. And with any client, you need to have a robust pre-production process in place to help you succeed.

So to make sure you kill that project and deliver beyond expectations, here are 7 things to consider to ensure you have the smoothest production shoot when working with any professional brands like Lamborghini.


1) Generate visual concepts for client

Start brainstorming ideas that align with the brand’s spirit. Ask yourself, “how can I capture the essence of the brand in a new creative way that’s relevant to their goals but also has impact?”

From this, start to generate visuals to capture that essence to strengthen your concept and to validate your direction.

2) Give the project a lot of thought and time to breathe

The more time you have the better. That said, in most cases you don’t have this luxury, so make sure to prep as early as possible. Doing this will help better generate an inspiring mood board and give your project depth and substance the brand would truly appreciate.

Putting something together a few days before the shoot is not recommended at all and would negatively effect the creative process.

3) Define your crew

Crew up with the right people. Depending on the scale of the project some key people to keep in mind that all play an important role in the process are the creative director, production manager, director of photography, photographer, videographer and production assistants.

4) Find the appropriate talent

Once your mood boards are defined and creative direction set, then finding the appropriate actors/models that match well with the brand is the next step. Review their portfolios and analyze ‘their look’ carefully. Imagine how they will fit the campaign. If you and your client can visualize it then that’s a great start.

5) Develop a detailed shot list

A detailed list is key and should never be looked over.

To be efficient and execute on your vision you should break down your shot list to specific shot segments and frames, identifying locations and moods you want to capture.

With that said, it's also recommended to have a Plan B for unexpected situations; backup locations, actors/models, and back up gear to ensure the work flow of the production day.

Remember just because you got the gear it doesn't mean you will get the shots you that fit both the brand and the vision, so be detailed with your shot list!

6) Scout and secure locations

Scout early and always have a few extra backup location spots. You got a limited window to produce the creative based on schedule constraints so always plan for the unexpected.

It’s important to note that the location could have a significant impact on the final visuals, so choose spots that make sense creatively for the brand.

7) Communication, communication, communication!

Guys this is an essential component for any creative project.

Before shooting day everyone should be up to date with the project and its goals. And I mean everyone, including assistants, make-up staff, stylists, photographers, videographers;  the whole production staff essentially. All people involved need to be in sync and aware of the process and deliverables to maximize organization and efficiency. It’s a team effort everyone, never forget that!


I hope the above pointers help you guys moving forward. I think each point is so important to achieving project goals and maintaining a high level of professionalism.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments below, always appreciate your feedback!

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