Whether you’re hiring a model or someone has hired you for a photoshoot, efficiency and time management is extremely important. You want to get the most from your shoots. With digital cameras there is no excuse not to get more than what you actually need.
As a musician, I’ve been to my fair share of shoots. Some photographers were so unorganized that I spent an entire day sitting around just to be photographed for a few minutes. They were horrible experiences. No one likes to have their time wasted. The biggest reason that photographers have stressful shoots is that they don’t do enough planning ahead of time. Obviously things may happen on the day of the shoot that are not within your control. However, if you put some thought into what you want to get out of the shoot, you’ll be able to adapt more quickly.
I’ve listed a few tips that other photographers have shared with me. It may seem like common sense, and that’s because it is. There’s a lot to think about when you plan a photoshoot, and sometimes certain logistics get lost in the planning. It happens to everyone. That’s why it’s helpful to put your thoughts on papers. There’s too much to keep in your head, so write it down or store it on your phone.
Details Details Details!
Before I reach out to a model I figure out which two shoots I want to do with them. I work with themes, like my Astrological and Seven Deadly Sins series. I look to see what I need and what fits the model best. When I send them the details, I break it down to wardrobe, makeup, and hair. If possible, I ask them to send me a photo of what they’re bringing. I have found that it’s better if the model only brings what they need because it simplifies the shoot, which saves you time. Occasionally, the model will be bring a backup option if we’re unsure about something. Another thing to consider is to save looks that involve more makeup for the last part of the shoot. It’s much easier to add makeup and than remove it.
Planning the Photoshoot
I write down what I want to get out of the photoshoot, and I make a list of the lighting, backdrop, and composition. For example, sometimes I have arranged the order of my shoot based on the setup of the lights and backdrop. It takes more time than you think to tear down a studio set.
The composition of the shot is also important. I’m going to light the model differently, if I’m going to photograph her whole body versus just photographing her from the waist up.
I like to figure out how much time I want to spend on each shoot. One thing to keep in mind is that most people hit their stride towards the end of the shoot. I generally save the more important shoot for last because I tend to feel more comfortable after I have gotten a chance to know the model.
Plan for extra shots
Generating content is crucial for establishing your platform on social media. It’s very easy to get different looks with simple adjustments. Once I know I have the shot that I need, I’ll make changes with the lights and composition. Maybe I’ll zoom in, or drastically change the lighting. I also use this time to allow myself to experiment. It’s easy to fall into a pattern, and sometimes it’s easier to break out of those habits when you know there’s no pressure on you.
I typically don’t like to show my final photos until I’ve completed the series, which can take several months depending on the series. By getting extra shots, I can maintain a more consistent social media presence and also share them with the models so they can expand their portfolio.