At the start of a project, the prop stylist acquires information from the photographer and client about the concept and vision for the shoot. This includes a shot list, which describes each photograph to be taken and the recipes that will be used. The prop stylist discusses with the photographer, food stylist, and client the overall design elements, background, surface materials, and accessories that will be required. Budgets are also established at this time.
After styles, designs, and colors have been determined, the prop stylist develops a production list and a prop list. The production list is, in fact, an annotated shot list that describes the creative specifications of each shot, including the following:
The production list is a continuous work in progress, and is often adjusted and modified as the project proceeds.
The prop list is created from the production list. It lists the specific plate, glass, flatware, tablecloth, and accessories that will be used for each shot, as well as the exact background and surface materials. This is the prop stylist's "shopping list."