Pre-Production is Key to a Successful Fashion or Beauty Photography Shoot

Started Feb 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
AltLens Regular Member • Posts: 107
This can apply to a TF shoot

You can get models, MUA/hair, wardrobe, etc. in trade if you just come up with a good theme. Many of them will jump at the chance. For example, I went junkyard to junkyard until I found an owner that would let me come in and do a shoot when they're closed. He was so excited he even had his guys move and stack cars with the forklift to make for a great shooting area.

I got 4 models to come out in trade.
A makeup artist who brought an apprentice and a friend who does hair, in trade.
I invited 2 other photographers and we all pitched in on food and refreshements.
We brought tents for changing and makeup/hair prep.
The junkyard owner even let us use his generator and several of his guns.
A friend of mine brought his Cobra, and 2 others brought their Harley's.
I brought swords and other silly props.

We shot all day and got great stuff.

For pre-production I:

1. Pulled out a tape measure and figured out how much space we would need to work, then made a drawing and gave it to the junkyard owner. He exceeded my expectations.

2. Arranged a conference call with everyone involved to discuss outfits (mostly corsets and such), looks, style, expectations, etc. This also allowed the MUA to talk to the models about makeup allergies, skin tones, etc.

3. Maintained an e-mail thread with the participants to track the schedule, assignments, etc. yes, assignments: each photographer had a list of things they had to get or do. Same with the models and MUA. My wife made all the food and bought all the bottled water, beer and champagne (for a toast at the end of the shoot) and was reimbursed by everyone who chipped in.

4. Did an inventory of everything that was to be at the shoot 2 days before to allow time to scramble if needed.

5. Showed up an hour early to make sure there were no last minute items to do at the junkyard.

6. Set up the tents in the preplanned areas and greeted the MUA/hair stylist and models and introduced everyone and got them started, then worked with the other photographers to set up power, lighting, guzzle a beer, smoke a joiint, and whatever we had to do to be ready.

We shot into dark of night. We had a blast. We drank champage together at the end of the night. We got great stuff.

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