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Perfect Photoshoot: From Planning to Ready Photos

Date of publication: 16 Jul 2023

Got the idea to order a photoshoot? Let's figure out which important elements you need to know and decide in advance, and what you can postpone for later. We will answer the most frequently asked questions about the shoot.

Searching and choosing a photographer

If you have no experience with photoshoots on Samui, then you are likely to turn to friends for recommendations or simply search for a photographer on the Internet. However, even having specific names and recommendations, choosing a photographer can be difficult.

I wrote more about choosing a photographer in the article:
How to choose a photographer for a photoshoot on Samui?

In short, the steps are:

  1. Review the photographer's portfolio. It's better to choose complete shoots, not just individual frames from many photoshoots.
  2. Read reviews about the photographer, find out how sensible they are and what others say about them.
  3. Study their prices to determine if they fit your budget.
  4. Meet with the photographer, discuss details.

And only after that, make a decision.

But before reaching out to a photographer, I recommend that you read the article titled "What do I need to know before asking a photographer for a price?" Yes, by the title, you understnad that you will learn what questions to ask the photographer and what questions the photographer will ask you. And what/how to answer them. A professional one will definitely ask you these questions. Be ready, it's better to read this article in advance.

Booking and finances

Perfect Photoshoot: From Planning to Ready Photos. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1986
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

Most of my clients plan their trip to Samui in advance. And more often for a few days or a week. That's why the clarification of details and booking of the photoshoot also take place in advance. Usually, shoots are booked one to two months in advance. This gives clients the opportunity to choose the most convenient date for them. Of course, if your stay in Samui lasts for several months, finding a available day for the shoot will not be a problem. However, if you plan to be here for just a few days or a week, it is recommended to prepare for the photoshoot in advance.

Usually, photo shoots are booked one to two months in advance.

When ordering a wedding photoshoot, the terms become more important. Such shoots are usually ordered half a year or a year in advance. This means that the importance and accuracy of the date determine the booking times. Want to have a photoshoot on Valentine's Day, February 14? Be prepared to book it half a year or a year in advance. Or perhaps you like the look of the date 12.12.2022, 02.02.2022, 22.02.2022. Well, you get the idea :)

How much does a photo shoot cost?

Perfect Photoshoot: From Planning to Ready Photos. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1960
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

Of course, everything starts with determining the cost and choosing a suitable package for the photoshoot. My packages are based on hourly pay. In addition, there are packages that include additional services, possibly required for extended shoots. In any case, I am always ready to customize each package according to your requests.

Ideally, I receive a message from clients describing when they are arriving at Samui and how long they will stay, where they will be staying. The message also describes what type of shoot the client wants, any preferences, and ideas. All my service costs are available on my website. And if the client is already familiar with them, all I have to do is guide and suggest the best options. This approach is very practical and efficient.

My service costs are available on my website.

Here you can check:

In any case, I help choose the suitable shooting package and explain all the terms as soon as you contact me.

How is a photo shoot booked?

Each photographer, of course, has their conditions. If you are planning a shoot for "tomorrow", no additional agreement is required besides the scheduling. However, if the shoot is planned a week, a month, or a year in advance, I usually request a prepayment of 10-20% of the order cost. It's a small sum, but the fact of making a financial transfer indicates your decision to hold a photo shoot.

What is discussed when planing a photo session?

Okay, you've contacted the photographer, what needs to be discussed, and what should the professional discuss with you?

Style and theme of the photo session

Whether you're planning an individual shoot or a shoot with a partner, family, or wedding – each type of shoot has its features. Knowing these features, I can give you advice and guide you in the right direction. Naturally, the cost also depends on the selected type of shoot. Therefore, this is an important element that you should inform the photographer about to get an accurate cost and avoid misunderstandings.

Locations for photo sessions

Samui is a beautiful and colorful island. There are many places here that can be used for shooting. First of all, of course, tropical beaches. There are also jungles and waterfalls. Villas and hotels can be used for photo shoots as well. Depending on the style of your shoot, the photographer will suggest the best places for your photo session in Samui.

I have prepared an article for you in which I described The most interesting places for photo shoots in Samui, in my opinion.

Best time of day for photo sessions

When is the best time to take photos? Morning, evening, or perhaps during the day? For me, the best time is in the morning. But there are many nuances. It's impossible to convey all the information and ideas in one paragraph, so it's better to familiarize yourself with the detailed analysis in a special article: Morning or evening? What's better for shooting?

Clothing and Appearance

When communicating with clients, one of the important topics discussed is appearance at the photo shoot. I always discuss with clients: what to wear, what colors to use, what clothes are suitable for which location. The article “Choosing clothes for shooting” will answer most of your questions on this topic.

Makeup and Hairstyle

Perfect Photoshoot: From Planning to Ready Photos. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 574
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

Even though a tropical island suggests "natural" beauty. And all people are beautiful in their nature. Therefore, many girls think that "natural" means "without makeup". This is not entirely true. Professional makeup and hairstyle can emphasize your natural beauty, and a professional makeup artist will make it all unnoticeable.

There is a misconception that it is unnatural "with makeup on the beach". But the key phrase is "professional makeup". Which does not mean "super-much". It will mean "as needed" and "as much as needed", as well as "natural and naturally". But this is best explained in the article by a professional: “Makeup for a photo shoot


Samui is not a very large island, but you won't get far on foot. After determining the locations for the photo shoot that suit you, you will need to decide how to get there. As a local, I can suggest several options and help you choose the best one for you.

Other Services

I have a special section on the site where I listed all possible options for additional services for a photo shoot. Everything you may need or want. There, for example, are bouquets, flower arches, yachts, romantic dinners, or just a photo zone.

Related article: Bridal Bouquet for Tropical Wedding on Koh Samui

How does the photo shoot itself take place?

Perfect Photoshoot: From Planning to Ready Photos. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 992
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

My main task during the photo shoot is to surround you with an atmosphere of calm and comfort. I always give hints on how to stand and what to do. My goal is for you to feel easy and carefree, while looking natural and behaving naturally in the selected backgrounds.

Often people, looking at my portfolio photos, say that I only have models at my shoots. But this is not the case. 95% of my clients are ordinary people. And my skills allow me to create a comfortable atmosphere and relax people during photo shoots.

The most common variant of the day plan for a photo shoot is when I pick up the client from the hotel, take them to several pre-agreed locations. We usually spend about an hour at each location. In the case of an evening shoot, the day is planned to end the shoot at sunset. In some place where the sunset is visible. Well, after the shoot, I bring you back to the hotel. Before the shoot, if necessary, a makeup artist and stylist can come to you. They prepare you for the shoot, just in time for the appointed time.

What is the outcome?

As a result of the shoot, I give all the shots I take and fully process them. I only delete duplicate and blurred shots. But most often, clients still want to hear some numbers about the number of photos received. Well, what can I say... Everything depends heavily on the situation and shooting style. What I can usually guarantee is 30 photos per hour of shooting. But usually, it turns out more. Just remember that for me, quality is more important than quantity.

Quality is more important than quantity.

Therefore, it's not a problem for me to give you even 1000 photos if we take them!

Photo Processing Time

Full processing of photos takes some time. The deadline for receiving photos is 3-4 weeks. Why so long? Primarily because having several shoots in a row, each subsequent one will have a slight delay. And this delay accumulates. I detailed this more in this article: Why do photographers take so long to give (process) photos?


Planning and running a photo session is a process that requires attention to detail, creativity, and good interaction with the client. Thanks to thoughtful preparation and careful conduct of the photo session, unique and memorable shots can be created. Consider all stages, from discussing the concept to post-processing, and turn each photo session into real art.

photo: Dimas Frolov
About the Author

Portrait photographer based on Samui, Thailand.
Originally from Ukraine, he has over 15 years of photography experience taking pictures around Europe and Asia. Multi-Award winner and author of many articles about photography.
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