Streamline your photoshoot with a shot list made in Milanote

Photoshoot shot list guide example

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

Photoshoot shot list guide example

How to create a shot list in 7 easy steps

Coordinating a photoshoot can be stressful and costly, especially if that critical shot is missed on the day. But a clearly defined shot list will make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

A shot list is a simple checklist of every photo you (and you client) want to capture on the day of a shoot. It usually contains a list of specific shots, some visual references and extra details like camera angles or lighting set-up so you don't forget a thing.

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

1. List the things you're shooting

Start by listing the subjects or topics you want to shoot. Depending on the type of project, these could be commercial products, parts of an event, a buildings or people. Adding references images or sketches will make your shot list easier to scan—even if they're just rough photos you've taken on your phone.

Your clients probably aren't photographers, so these references will also help them imagine the type of shots you're planning to capture.

Photoshoot shot list guide step01
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your shot list.

    Create a new board

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

  2. Upload images to your board.

    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. List the individual shots you need

This is the heart of the shot list. It's where you list each individual shot you require. Think about the different product angles, formats, arrangements, even where you'll position the camera. As iconic photographer Ansel Adams said "a good photograph is knowing where to stand".

Photoshoot shot list guide step03
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new to-do list for each of the specific shots.

    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:

Get creative with your shot list. Brainstorming it with others is a great way to uncover new creative image ideas—try it with your client at the start of your next project.

3. Add extra details

Add any specific details about the shots you plan to capture on the day. These might be reminders about the tone, mood or composition you're aiming for. E.g. "Capture the craftsmanship and design details in the legs of the seat."

Refer back to the photoshoot brief to ensure you've covered everything. There's nothing worse than finishing a shoot and realizing you've missed a critical shot.

Photoshoot shot list guide step04
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Use note cards to add extra details.

    Drag a note card onto your board

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

4. Describe the lighting & backgrounds

Having technical details around lighting and backgrounds on hand will help you prepare quickly on the day of the shoot.

Should the products be shot on plain white or colored backgrounds? If they're lifestyle shots, what does the room or environment behind the product look like? How should the product be lit?

Photoshoot shot list guide step05
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to describe the lighting and backgrounds.

    Drag a note card onto your board

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

5. Organize & refine

Once you've listed all the shots you need to take, it's time to add some structure. Group related shots and present them in the order you plan to shoot them. That way you can work from left to right on the day of the shoot.

Photoshoot shot list guide step06
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a column for each part of your shoot.

    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 by using the free Shot List template.

6. Share with your client & the team

While a shot list is usually written by one person, it's important to make sure everyone is on the same page. The goal here is to gather feedback and create the final shot list. Scratch any shots that aren't required and add any new ones that you've missed.

Photoshoot shot list guide step02
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Invite a team member or client to provide feedback.

    Invite editors to your board

    Open the "Editors" menu from the title bar of your board. Add email addresses of the people you'd like to collaborate with—they'll receive an invitation via email.

  2. Start a comment thread.

    Start a comment thread

    Drag out a comment from the toolbar on the left and place it on your board. Other editors can reply to your comment.

  3. Mention teammates to get their attention.

    Mention teammates to get their attention

    Type '@' in any text field to mention someone who has access to your board. They'll receive a notification and be able to respond to your comment.

7. Reference it on the day

Traditionally, you'd print out your shot list to refer to on the day, but digital shot lists can be accessed on phones or laptops. This way, you can check off each shot or adjust it as you need.

Photoshoot shot list guide step07
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Download the Milanote mobile app

And you're done!

Now that your shot list is complete, you have everything you need for a successful photoshoot—a clear plan and the headspace to do your best creative work. Use the template below to create a new shot list in minutes or check out our guide on how to plan a photoshoot.

Start your shot list

Get started for free with Milanote's easy to use shot list template.