The Importance of Testing in Photography: A Case Study from “Into The Woods”


Photography is an art that often requires experimentation and innovation. Testing before implementing a new concept or technique is crucial whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiast. This blog explores the significance of pre-shoot testing through a real-life example involving the promotional photoshoot for the musical “Into The Woods.”

The Concept:

In the pursuit of creating eye-catching promotional material for the musical, the photographer (in this case, a parent with a passion for photography) envisioned a unique shot. The plan was to capture the ensemble at dusk, using Color Temperature Orange lighting on the subjects and color correction to turn the background into a captivating shade of blue. A smoke machine was introduced into the mix to add an extra touch of drama.

Into The Woods Test Shots

The Testing Phase:

Understanding the need for preparation, the photographer took their daughter outside for a series of test shots. This preliminary step allowed them to fine-tune the lighting setup, assess the impact of the Color Temperature Orange, and experiment with the smoke machine’s effects. These test shots provided valuable insights and helped the photographer make informed decisions before the shoot.

The Implementation:

On the day of the official photo shoot, armed with the knowledge gained from the test shots, the photographer confidently added the smoke machine and worked with the costumed actors. The planned combination of warm lighting, color correction, and smoke added a layer of depth and intrigue to the images. The shoot resulted in various photos capturing individual performers and the entire ensemble.

Selecting the Winning Shot:

After the photoshoot, the photographer meticulously reviewed the images and selected the winning shot for the promotional banner and posters. This critical decision-making process was made more straightforward due to the insights gained during the testing phase.

Chelle Leary, Felicia Agostini, Lauren Baxter, Max Hipp, Thomas Beasley, Virginia Roulette

Success and Beyond:

The resulting promotional material proved to be a massive success. The banner and posters adorned local shops, effectively drawing attention to the musical “Into The Woods” and generating interest in the community. Encouraged by this triumph, subsequent photoshoots were conducted to promote other high school musicals.


The “Into The Woods” photoshoot exemplifies the importance of testing in photography. Whether you’re experimenting with lighting, props, or compositions, conducting test shots before the main event can make a significant difference. Photographers can troubleshoot potential issues, refine their vision, and confidently execute creative ideas. In a world where visual impact is crucial, thorough testing is the secret ingredient to turning a concept into a captivating reality.