How Long Is The Average PhotoShoot?

How long is the average photoshoot?

How long does a photoshoot last? A photoshoot can be anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on what type of photos you’re taking. The length of a photo shoot depends on many factors, including the number of people in the shot, the type of photoshoot experience, the number of outfit changes as well as location changes, and the photographer’s skill level.

Here's how long it takes to get great shots

If you’re wondering how long is the average photoshoot as you’re planning a photoshoot with a professional photographer, here’s how long it typically takes.

  • 30 minutes – for a quick headshot with one outfit and one location
  • 1 hour – for a family or branding photoshoot with one location and multiple poses and set-ups
  • 1.5 – 2 hours for a business group portrait with individual sub-groups
  • 3 hours for a full boudoir or branding luxury photoshoot experience with multiple outfit
  • changes and multiple set-ups

However, there is more to take into account for how long do photoshoots lasts.

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Pre-photoshoot Consultation

As a client preparing for a photoshoot can be very daunting. What do I wear? What to expect? This is why doing a pre-photoshoot consultation is one of the most important steps. As a photographer I always meet with my clients beforehand, sometimes weeks prior to the photoshoot. We plan out every last detail so that everyone knows what to expect, and both the photographer and the client are well equipped for a successful photoshoot.

I offer a consultation with all of my clients. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, here is a link below:

computer consultation

Location scouting and equipment set-up

If the photoshoot is outside, the photographer needs to scout locations before the photo shoot begins. A professional photographer will also take into consideration where the light is compared to the subjects, where will the additional fill lights go, and whether any additional props or reflectors are needed. The size of the group is also taken into consideration. Lastly, based on the amount of natural light available, the setup will change as well. In Florida during the middle of a bright sunny day the photographer will need more external light to fill in on the face or faces, otherwise it can turn into a silhouette.


The actual photoshoot may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours or longer, depending on what is the plan going in. Based on what you talked about during the consultation, you should know how many outfits to bring, whether some outfits take a longer or shorter amounts of time to put on, and also if you are changing location or staying in one place.

Here is a breakdown of a regular photoshoot with two outfits and two locations:

  • 20-30 minutes for the photographer to set up (this may happen before you arrive)
  • Do you have a makeup artist who will get your makeup done on location? Plan for an extra 40-60 minutes
  • 10 minutes for you to put on the first outfit and polish your hair
  • 20-30 minutes for the first set of the photoshoot (with an experienced photographer)
  • It is time to change locations. Break down all equipment and either walk or drive to the next location. If you include the travel time and how far to go, this can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour
  • Do you need to change into your second outfit? Add another 10-15 minutes
  • While you are changing, the photographer will hopefully set up his equipment in the new spot.
  • 20-30 minutes of photoshoot time at the new location
  • Do you want to see your images immediately? Let’s download them and review them now. This may take another 30 minutes.

So, for a simple photoshoot with an outfit change and one location change, you are looking at anywhere from 2 to 3.5 hours. Of course, I did not include any time for things that you can’t plan for, such as equipment breakdown, an unexpected rain storm, and more.
At least you get an idea of what to expect. Does this help?

Photographer's Experience

Have you ever booked a photoshoot with someone who was still learning their craft, you probably spent a very small amount of money, and all you got was 1 usable photo, if that? Here is where a photographers’ experience comes into play.

A professional photographer with many years of experience will take a much shorter amount of time to capture incredible images of you because they have years of practice doing it. They know exactly where to put the light, where to face you, and how to direct you to capture the magical images, and he or she will know the camera settings well. What a professional will take 30 minutes to do, someone new in the industry will take possibly an hour or longer to capture. This is why you get what you pay for.

In my years of experience, I have seen new photographers spend an hour photographing one person, capture over 500 frames, and then ask whether the exposure is correct not even checking it along the way. If you don’t know your settings well, images can be blurry, cropped wrong, blown out with light or too dark.

There is a lot to keep in mind during a photoshoot. Most photographers that are starting out are still learning their camera and light settings. So a photoshoot with a newbie will most likely take much longer and the amount of quality usable shots that you as a client will love goes down.

I have years of experience so I work very quickly. I am able to focus on many things at the same time, you will actually have fun during a photoshoot, and I will direct you every step of the way to make sure you always look fabulous. A photoshoot with me flows very quickly and most of my clients have many amazing shots to choose from at the end. It is a lot of fun.

If you are wondering, below is a list of professional photographers in Tampa, FL.

Professional Photographers in Tampa Bay area

In Summary

How long do photoshoots last? A photoshoot can be anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on what type of photos you’re taking. Always make sure you schedule a consultation with your photographer before the photoshoot to give you time to plan out the details. If you are on location, many different things will go into capturing the right portrait of you so I recommend using a professional photographer even if they are more expensive. It will save you time and money.

About Allie Serrano

My name is Allie Serrano and I am the owner of Allie Serrano Portraits, LLC. I was born in the heart of Europe in the Czech Republic. It is a land filled with rich country, history, and romanticism, a place where things are handcrafted, one-of-a-kind art, heirloom antiques are created and celebrated. This world continues to influence me to this day. As a little girl, I loved playing dress-up with my sister. I grew up having read hair and I was bullied for that. So, it is not surprising that today as a portrait photographer I have a burning desire to lift the confidence in everyone I meet, to change the world through beautiful portraits, to impact the world around me, and to tell the stories of the most incredible people I meet along the way. I can’t wait to meet you and tell your story with a portrait 🙂