How to Decide on a Theme for Photoshoots

October 07, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

How to Decide on a Theme for Photoshoots | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Decide on a Theme for Photoshoots Sometimes the time is just right for a photoshoot! Whether you're trying to give someone an early birthday present or there's a season you can't help but want to celebrate its arrival, photo sessions are a marvelous way to capture priceless moments.

A few of my clients have been stumped when it comes to planning their photoshoots, particularly those who are new to my skills and service as a professional photographer. One good question I get asked every so often is, "Should my photoshoot have a theme?" While it's easy to answer "It's entirely up to you," I understand that to some clients this isn't a very helpful suggestion. To help you out, here are some of my tips on how you can decide on a certain theme for your upcoming photoshoot.

Why Decide on a Theme?

Simply put: photo themes can be a lot of fun! They also aren't nearly as complicated as you think they are. While deciding on locations can be trickier, themes can be a lot simpler once we follow through with the number one tip, and that is:

Let Me Get to Know You as a Client

By understanding you better, I'll get a good feel and look at you and your loved ones' personalities, which usually helps me plan the session and theme more thoroughly. It also will help you and me pinpoint a location for the shoot (see why I made this my number one tip?). Planning with someone else can help you nail a theme for your photoshoot, plus it's always good to bounce ideas off of someone else if you have them (as opposed to, say, a wall).

Quick Tips

For anyone who is genuinely stumped on a theme, I do have a few quick tips to share:

  • Relax! Not everyone can think of a theme right off the bat. That's why I'm here as your professional photographer to help, especially if planning for this sort of thing stresses you out.
  • Think about your favourites. What is your favourite season? Your favourite holiday? Your favourite activity? Your favourite memories with your family and friends? It's super easy to center a theme based on this alone.
  • Make a list of ideas, and then remove the ones you know you don't like. For some people they may find this to be an easier way to decide as opposed to thinking about favourites...it all depends on what kind of a person you are.
  • Special events are another easy reason to have a photoshoot and a theme. Maybe you're on your way to open a new business, or maybe you've gotten engaged, or maybe you simply want to celebrate your birthday. Whatever the occasion may be, that can be the theme. Simple as that.
  • Allow your creativity to flow. All you have to do to achieve this tip is to open your mind and heart to possibilities as you envision the theme.
  • Make room for magical moments to happen. Sometimes the best instances I've captured on film during sessions occurred as a spur of the moment event that was unplanned but welcome. There have been sunsets and sunrises that were picture-perfect, and windy days where the breeze blew just right. Smiles have burst on people's faces (even the ones who hate being photographed), and some props you pick can add a spark of fun. This can help shift a basic theme for a photoshoot into a session you'll never forget.
  • Browse through galleries for ideas. Why not start with my website?

Hopefully these tips help. If you're at all confident about choosing me as your photographer or you'd like to get started on a session and need more help, contact me today. I look forward to meeting you!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.


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