Prepping for a photography project like a game plan

Using research, themes and execution to produce epic photographs.

Any baseball pitcher would tell you that it takes planning to execute pitches against individual batters. And that is no different than a photographer understanding how they want to frame an image.

Research, tight themes and execution all drive epic photography.

Imagine standing on the ladder in an open field. Beautiful mountains in the background. A bride and groom standing in tall weeds about 75 yards from you. It’s important to be prepared for that moment. Having a plan in place prior to getting that all put together was important even before getting on location. Here is how I approached my Flagstaff wedding project.


Know the area. Know the subjects. Just like pitchers researching opponents, photographers need to dig in and gather information before any project. I never have been to Flagstaff and knew the bride wanted to have mountains and Aspen trees to be a focus. Knowing those facts, I took time to get online and talk to people who have been there to find the perfect spot.


Just like a pitcher and having a go to pitch, a photographer should be thinking about a go to theme for any project. Already knowing they wanted mountains and Aspens, my only thematic decision was to focus on the style of photograph. Natural light and hues are a go-to theme for any portrait project in nature. I decided to approach this project to use the natural light and hues of the landscape.


Pitchers research each batter. Based off that research they tend to plan to either strike batters out or force them into hitting ground balls or pop-ups. And now that I had researched and developed a theme for this project, I was ready to execute. Execution was easy. I was able to make it fun and enjoyable for the couple while still making sure the theme was on point.

On your next project or photoshoot, make to be planning. If you’re hiring a photographer ask questions like, what research will you do before, what is your theme? All these questions will produce epic photos.

Work with Andy Gardner Photography to capture your story.

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