What are we going to shoot tomorrow, next week, next month? Central to all production planning is to know what to shoot, how to shoot it and when to shoot it. This includes keeping track of all the samples, where they are and when they can be in the studio.
Knowing what to shoot means a lot more than just knowing where the samples are, it includes the ability to define the photo shoot and what images are required. I.e., how complex is the shoot, what requisites are needed, is there any specific requirements, etc.
Not knowing the above prior to shooting will make it difficult to handle anything but a very standardized process and very standardized photo manner, i.e. “we always shoot 4 images on all products, front, back and two detail images”.
Tailor your images to product features
Being able to tailor the shoot to unique product features with all the necessary prerequisites will demand much more information, information that is structured and sorted with product photography in mind.
It is important to have enough information about the products and how to shoot them to know how much time the shooting will take. I.e., many images with a lot of different light settings and angles requires more time and vice versa.
Having detailed information about the product coupled with a detailed photo manner will give you very good insight into how much time is needed for a photo session. Also, if you do model photography you will need specific information for model booking and for model preparation in the studio.
Keep track of your samples
It is important to keep track of all the samples, i.e., where they are and when they will arrive at the studio. Few companies today, can afford to keep multiple samples available for all sorts of different purposes. In most cases samples are to be sent to different locations for various purposes, e.g., on site pack shot production, on location photography, video production, etc. Knowing when the samples will arrive at the studio is key to use the resources optimally, i.e., keeping track of samples is very important to plan for optimal production flows.
Also, by planning well in advance it is possible to assure, and measure, any deviations from the plan. It is not uncommon that product management tell the studio that they have 20 products to shoot but on shooting day only 18 arrives, or worse 15 of the original order arrives and 10 that was not in the order. Without a plan with a defined product range, it will be difficult to measure success. I.e., the ability to keep product information, samples and shooting instructions wrapped together in a workorder is key to plan studio work optimally.