Behind the scenes of a Northwest Arkansas professional photo shoot


Much of the tips and discussions we have on this blog focus on the front end of the camera including tips for getting the best head shot or preparing for a great family portrait photoshoot.

Today, I am being interviewed by my friend, Jamie Smith from Jamie’s Notebook, to talk about what goes on behind the camera and how we at Linda Richards Photography prepare to give you the best professional photoshoot possible. I say in the headline that it’s behind the scenes of a NWA photoshoot because living in Northwest Arkansas gives us unique opportunities for beautiful photoshoots that can’t be found anywhere else!                                                                                                                                                    

Are your on-location photo shoots routine enough that you don’t have to prepare for them anymore?

We arrive to the location early so we can check out the space in case there’s an event we weren’t aware of on particular day or perhaps construction of an area, something we are all very used to in Northwest Arkansas, which could interfere with the photo shoot. Even if it’s a location we’ve used countless times we make sure the environment will be right for that specific shoot.

Do you have last minute changes often due to unforeseen circumstances when you arrive?

Not typically. I had a photo shoot once on a night I didn’t realize it was prom which became a challenge due to the popularity of the location. I am sure to make note of the Bentonville, Rogers and Pea Ridge proms now. Since I don’t generally have location issues, arriving early allows me to take a few landscape shots and some shots of my assistant just for fun. People-watching is a bonus to arriving early as well!

What do you bring to a photo shoot?

IMG_4390I arrive to all photo shoots prepared to take a variety of shots which may require different lighting equipment and different lenses. On many locations we may not be near the car so my assistant carries my backpack that holds an extra camera, lenses, battery and SD Card, my sun shade, my ladder and a bottle of water for me to stay hydrated.

Is your assistant’s main job to haul your equipment?

_MG_5498(laughs) He feels like it is a lot of the time. Dane’s job is to watch me work and anticipate when I may need a sun shade or when I will switch lenses for a particular type of shot. He also helps when clients need to bring along items that won’t be in the photo such as a diaper bag or extra shirt.

What is something people don’t think about when on location with you for a photo shoot?

It isn’t uncommon to be approached by a passerby, either someone I know in the community, client or someone I am meeting for the first time requesting a business card so I may stop long enough to pass along my information or to say, hi, but I do my best not to distract from the clients shoot.

What is something people do think about that you try to put them at ease?


Some clients would prefer to be in a more remote area for a photo shoot so I do my best to find a time and place where there won’t be a lot of other people around if I know this ahead of time. Also, with most public locations, we find other people enjoying the same space especially Downtown, walking trails and Crystal Bridges. My assistant and I work to make sure we will have the fewest interruptions for our clients but also that we don’t get in anyone else’s way while they are enjoying the space. My clients don’t want to feel like they are getting in the way of others having fun and vice versa.

What is something that would surprise other people to know about you?

Many times after a shoot I will look at myself in the mirror and think, oh my, what a frightful sight. I don’t know if it is a surprise to anyone who has been on a shoot with me but I’m somewhat temperature sensitive. I don’t think that is a real thing but on location in the winter I am bundled up because I do not like being cold and don’t want my hands to shake. All other shoots, indoor or outdoor I sweat, a lot. It is embarrassing and I always think my clients must notice but no one has ever said anything.


What do you want your clients to know is happening behind the scenes?

print ready-4735I love taking their photos. Every shoot. Every client. No matter how hyper or shy they think their children are being, I am enjoying taking their photos.