Photoshoot Brief Template

Photoshoot Brief Template, within the Milanote app

Write an inspiring photoshoot brief

When working on a photoshoot, it’s crucial that everyone understands what's involved. A clear, inspiring and informative brief provides the structure and direction for photographers and their teams to do their best work.

Photography briefs typically include background information, goals, deliverables, references imagery, creative direction and a style guide. It ensures that the photographer, models, stylists and client are on the same page and working towards a unified goal.

This template is part of our guide on How to plan a photoshoot.

  • Set the vision for your shoot
  • Add reference images
  • Organize visually
  • Share with your team & clients
  • Export to PDF

How to use this template

Whether you’re a photographer, art director or client, follow this step-by-step guide to learn the modern process of writing a photography brief in Milanote, a free tool used by top creatives.

1. Start with an empty template

The Photography Brief template is filled with questions, thought starters and image placeholders to help you write your brief in minutes.

Photoshoot Brief Template Step1
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new board for your brief.

    Create a new board

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

  2. Choose the Photography Brief template

    Choose your template 

    Each new board gives you the options to start with a beautiful template.

2. Introduce the client

Start by providing some background on the client for your photographer. Include details like brand values, a link to their website and some history about them. Then add contact details for the key people involved in the project to make communication easy.

Photoshoot brief template step02
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Add a note to describe the client.

    Drag a note card onto your board

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

3. Describe your subject

Are you shooting a new product, a model or a home interior? Each of these requires a unique approach preparation, equipment and talent so try to give the photographer and the crew as much background information as possible.

Photoshoot brief template step03
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Upload an image of the subject you're shooting.

    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.

Pro tip:

If you have specific preferences for post-processing (editing, retouching, color grading), communicate them clearly in the brief to ensure the final images match your vision.

4. Write clear goals & deliverables

What do you want to communicate with through these photos? Do they need to be used online and also in print? Simple details are often overlooked resulting in inefficiency or important items get missed, so be sure to include the following:

  • Specific Shot List: A detailed list of shots you want to capture.
  • Logistics and Timelines: Details about shoot timing, breaks, and any travel or setup times.
  • Equipment Requirements: Specific equipment needed (camera, lenses, lighting) to do the job.
  • Usage and Licensing: Outline how and where the final images will be used (print, online, social media)
  • Access to Locations: If you require access to a specific location or if the shoot is outdoors, have a weather contingency plan.
  • Model Releases: If models are involved, secure signed model release forms.
  • Styling and Props: Detailed information about wardrobe, makeup, and props.

Including this information ensures the photographer can be organized and focus on delivering their best work.

Photoshoot brief template step04
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Create a new to-do list for the specific deliverables.

    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.

5. Describe the target audience

This is where you describe a specific type of audience and detail what’s important to them. What do they care about? What inspires them? Include any relevant research or stats you have. All this helps the photographer choose a mood or direction that speaks to your audience.

Photoshoot brief template step05
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Choose a photo to represent your audience from image search.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 500,000 beautiful photos powered by Unsplash then drag images straight onto your board.

6. Include reference photos

Add inspiring images to communicate the mood or style you want from the shoot. These could be photos from a previous campaign or inspiration you've found on the web. They'll ensure that you and the photographer are aligned on the style and visual direction from the start.

Photoshoot brief template step06
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Browse the built-in image library.

    Use the built-in image library

    Search over 500,000 beautiful photos powered by Unsplash then drag images straight onto your board.

  2. Install the Milanote Web Clipper

  3. Save images from other websites straight to your board.

    Save content from the web

    Roll over an image (or highlight text), click Save, then choose the destination in Milanote. Return to your board and find the content in the "Unsorted" column on the right.

8. Share the brief with your team

Once you’ve made any final tweaks, it’s time to share the completed brief with the your team, organize a kickoff meeting and start preparing for the shoot.

Photoshoot brief template step08
How to do this in Milanote
  1. Publish and share the brief 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.

You're done

Now that you've provided clear and comprehensive information about the shoot everyone involved is aligned and that the final result is guaranteed to meet the clients' objectives.

Start your photoshoot brief

Set the direction for a photoshoot