Create a call sheet to organize your photoshoot talent & crew

Call Sheet Hero

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn the modern process of creating a call sheet in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

Call Sheet Hero

How to create a call sheet in 7 easy steps

You may have witnessed a disorganized photoshoot before—the models were late, the crew forgot the lighting or the studio wasn't setup properly. One vital document was missing—the call sheet.

The call sheet is a simple, but incredibly useful tool for organizing your shoot. It outlines everything your talent and crew need to know before the day of the shoot. Crucial elements like the location, contact details, the schedule and most importantly the arrival time.

In this guide, you'll learn the modern approach to creating a call sheet using Milanote and set yourself up for a stress-free photoshoot.

What should a Photoshoot Call Sheet include?

Here's a comprehensive list of what could be included in a photoshoot call sheet and why:

  • Photoshoot title: Clearly state the name of the photoshoot.
  • Date and time: Include the date, start time, and estimated end time.
  • Location: Provide the address and any specific directions or landmarks to the photoshoot location.
  • Contact information: List the names and contact details of key personnel involved in the shoot. E.g. photographer, assistants, stylist, makeup artist, and models.
  • Client information: If applicable, include the name and contact details of the client or the person representing the client.
  • Weather forecast: Check and include the weather forecast for the day of the shoot, especially for outdoor shoots, to help everyone prepare accordingly.
  • Call times: Specify the call time for each person involved in the photoshoot. This ensures everyone arrives on time and is aware of their schedule.
  • Shoot schedule: Outline the planned schedule for the day, including time slots for each setup or location.
  • Shot list: Link to a detailed shot list with descriptions of each shot or pose required.
  • Wardrobe and styling details: Include information about the clothing, accessories, and styling requirements for each model or subject.
  • Makeup and hair instructions: Mention any specific makeup or hairstyle instructions for the models.
  • Props and equipment: List all the props and equipment that will be used.
  • Catering: If catering is provided, specify the meal times and any dietary preferences.
  • Parking and transportation: If relevant, provide information about parking options or transportation arrangements.
  • Emergency contacts: Include emergency contact numbers for medical assistance or any unforeseen circumstances.

Now, let's look at how to create a simple Call Sheet using Milanote...

1. Describe the project

The first thing to add is a simple overview of the photoshoot outlining the purpose of the day. This usually includes the name of the shoot, the concept and a logo or photo representing the client or product.

Most importantly, add the contact details for the person in charge so everyone knows who to go to with questions or ideas.

Consider adding a link to the photoshoot brief so everyone on your team is clear on the goals of the shoot. Use the Photoshoot Brief Template to create a simple, visual brief.

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step1
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your call sheet.

    Create a new board

    Drag a board out from the toolbar. Give it a name, then double click to open it.

  2. Add a note to describe the purpose of the photoshoot.

    Drag a note card onto your board

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

  3. Upload an image of the subject

    Upload a file or document  

    Click the "Upload file" button or just drag a file onto your board. You can add images, logos, documents, videos, audio and much more.

2. Add the location

Next add the location of the shoot and any details that will help people arrive safely and on time. Explain where the parking options are, nearby public transport and any details about to get into the building. Providing a link to Google Maps lets everyone get turn-by-turn directions and travel time estimates.

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step2
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Embed a Google map

    Drag a link card onto your board

    Copy the share link from Google Maps, paste it into the link card in Milanote and press Enter.

3. List your talent, crew & gear

Who's involved in your shoot? List your talent and crew along with their contact details. This will save you hunting around for phone numbers when plans inevitably change on the day. Next, add any specific arrival times so each person knows exactly when they're expected.

To ensure nothing's forgotten, create a checklist for the equipment you'll need on the day.

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step3
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note for the details of your crew

    Drag a note card into your column

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

  2. Create a checklist for your equipment

    Drag a to-do list onto your board

    Start typing then press "Enter" to create a new item. Add a title to your to-do list using the left hand toolbar.

Pro tip:

While it can feel laborious, creating a solid plan for a photoshoot gives you the time and space to be creative on the day. As photographer Martin Parr said "Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work."

4. Outline the schedule

Probably the most important part is the schedule—specifically the general crew call time. The general crew call time is when everyone needs to arrive on location. Under this, add the key events for the day so everyone can clearly see what's on and when.

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step4
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to describe each activity on the schedule

    Drag a note card into your column

    Start typing then use the formatting tools in the left hand toolbar.

5. Organize & refine

Once you have everything you need, it's time to organize your call sheet so it's easy to scan. The goal here is to present the most important information first. This ensures the talent and crew arrive at the right place at the right time and they know what's expected of them on the day.

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step5
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a column for each part of your call sheet

    Drag a column onto your board

    Name it, then drag any relevant notes or images into your column

Pro tip:

Save time on your next photoshoot with a Photoshoot Call Sheet template.

6. Share the call sheet with your team

When you’ve made any final tweaks, it’s time to share the call sheet with the your team so everyone can start preparing for the shoot.

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step6
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Publish and share the call sheet with your team.

    Add a welcome message to your board.

    Write a welcome message under the "Publish & share" menu. This will display the first time someone views your board.

7. Reference it on the day

Traditionally, you'd print out a copy for each person to refer to on the day, but digital call sheets can be accessed on phones or laptops. This way, when you update your call sheet, you know everyone is seeing the latest version. No need to resend Call-sheet-v4.PDF!

Photoshoot Brief Guide Step7
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Download the Milanote mobile app

And you're done!

Now that your call sheet is complete, you (and your team) have a solid plan for your upcoming photoshoot. Use the template below to create a new call sheet in minutes or check out our guide on how to plan a photoshoot.

Start your photoshoot call sheet

Get started for free with Milanote's easy to use call sheet template.