|What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
I try to learn as much as I can about the subject & the location. Ask myself questions that I may want answer and use the camera to find the answers.
Make sure that I have everything I possibly could need for the job at hand...Boy Scout Motto"be prepared".
First I need to get focus myself, and then the camera. Hahahahaha
Ah, now this is an important question. Pre-planning prevents poor pictures!
What is our subject? Who is our audience? And, what do we want them to feel when they see this image?
Now, begin the preproduction.
First, there's the check of the equipment - clean, batteries charged, everything ready.
Second, there's the check of me - am I ready? am I present? what's my mood, emotions? am I putting the client first or is my mind elsewhere? am I ready to "listen" to the client's desires and emotions so that I create the image that they want, that I express what they want in their image?
Understand how the photo is going to to be used.
1. Outline Contents
2. Discuss contents(times/dates if needed) with participants
3. Review locations
shop and research the fashion look I want to portray
Most importantly is getting to know my clients and their likes/dislikes. I spend a lot of time in pre-session counseling by phone to make my clients feel comfortable with me and me with them.
From here its all about scouting out locations for their session. I'm always up for a challenge finding a new location for my clients they will love and haven't seen before from my website.
Before the session, its making sure my gear and back up gear are ready to go.
I sit and talk with the model, put them at ease and show them that I am genuinely interested in them as a person. I find that the more comfortable a model is before we start, the more they will invest in the shoot.
I try to find out about my subject as much as possible weather it be the material or the person as subject matter. Every entity has it's own attributes and challenges so you must prepare equipment, crew, location, and any other matter that is involved to produce the best results possible under what ever circumstance that presents itself.
I like shooting from the hip--being spontaneous. However, getting to know people first and then photographing raises everybody's comfort level and gives me greater possibilities for penetrating the surface.
If I am doing a commercial shoot, I just make sure all my ducks are in a row: that I have all the right equipment and get the shot. I try to remain open to the moment so a little magic, the unknown, can take place during the shoot. ...Otherwise the process would be mechanical and boring.
Clean charged cameras set and ready to go....if needed a visit to the location for light and angle checks
Research, and more research. I like to be able to talk up my subjects, so to speak. I have found it makes a portrait subject more comfortable. Plus I think people like it when you take interest in what they're about. I try to ask lots of questions too.
And oh, yeah. I make sure all the gear is clean and ready to go. I used to assist somebody who didn't do this and it bit him in the ass once on a big job. I just made a mental note, don't be this guy.
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