The polished, glamorous final pictures you see don’t make themselves! There’s a lot of elements to coordinate: Wardrobe choices, makeup and hair styling, appropriate lighting, backgrounds, poses. There’s also the personalities to manage. This shoot took most of a day, so it can be a challenge to keep everyone’s energy high!

How to juggle all these elements and get beautiful photos?

It’s not magic. It’s the result of smart planning and good teamwork. Each individual knows what needs to be done next and pitches in to move the process along.

In many ways, the shoot was like a miniature wedding. As an attendee, it can look like everything comes together by magic. But upon looking closer, you realize how much thought and effort goes into making it all work.

An email the day before reminded everyone what to bring and what their role would be. An assortment of snacks that can sit out for a few hours and be nibbled at without ruining your lipstick. A luggage-sized case full of every possible emergency need—from hair extensions to tampons. A full portrait studio arranged in a room with just the right amount of light spilling in from a side window.

These are the little things that kept the event flowing smoothly, but they’re easy to miss. It’s that subtlety, the appearance that it’s all happening on its own by some internal magic, that makes an event memorable and fun. And it’s impossible to achieve without a team that works together toward a common goal.