Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Preparing the shoot

When I started studying photography I wasn't really aware of the all the facts that needed to be considered when planning a photoshoot. I usually had a simple concept in my mind and went through it without really thinking. Of course you can see that back in the pictures taken. On the other hand it is also still a time to find yourself and your unique style without which you can probably not make it in today's over-visualised world.
Through the time and especially during my internship at a big photography studio I realized that organization is the key-point of photography.

1. If you have an idea make a CONCEPT out of it! Find inspiration on the INTERNET, in magazines ... basically everywhere you go! Try to print these ideas and figure out what items from these inspirational images can be useful for your own idea. It is very important to understand that these images are really meant to inspire you and not to be copied. Maybe the colors are intriguing, maybe the styling is outstanding. Go from there and make a plan, your plan!

2. Once you have figured out what you really want to do (if you are good at drawing - make sketches otherwise create a moodboard) try to find your creative team
  • Models that suit your topic (sites as modelmayhem, facebook or model agencies can give you a broad overview)
  • Stylists whose style fits your own - depending on the theme you are working on it is wise to choose a stylists that fits you. Next time maybe you choose a different one
  • MUAs - also here it is important to work with the ones that can best translate your idea into reality. Some are more into extreme make-up and hair than others
  • Assistants - I usually do everything myself but I had to realize that sometimes assistants can be very handy. They can help with everything around the shoot and there are many people out there who are willing to help
3. Plan a date! That can be tricky to get everyone under one hat, especially if you are shooting big scale!

4. Make a time Schedule - don't plan too tight because then it can happen that people all come at the same time and they have to wait for hours. Nobody wants that! But also don't plan in too much time in between models because then you and your team are the ones who have to wait and time is money!
both happened to me during some shoots but hey you learn from it!

5. Send out all information to all participants, call sheets, moodboards, contact information of your entire team, model release and make sure you don't forget anyone

6. Get back to all people shortly before the shoot to make sure everyone has received and read your documents and let them confirm so everything will be as you have planned it!

7. On the day of shooting make sure all equipment is packed properly, all props are taken. It can be a real disappointment if something you need is missing!

8. Create a relaxed atmosphere for everyone! Don't get stressed out if something is not working the way you had in mind, improvise! Get drinks and food for everyone! Usually shooting days are pretty long. Plan little breaks also for yourself!

9. Make sure you back-up your pictures, either immediately on the spot or soon after you have reached save haven back home. Nothing is more annoying than losing your pictures!

I probably have forgotten to mention some details but this structure helped me enormously to get the ideas out of my head and really done. Once you have everything set, there is no going back! So before you shoot make yourself clear that photography is not just taking a camera into your hand and start shooting (at least in most parts of the photography business). Creating structure is very important!