|What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
I prefer to meet with a model at least a day before the shoot to discuss the concept and develop a rapport. I'll explain how I work and to what extent I'll direct them. I'll also ask for their feedback on the concept and any ideas they may have so I can incorporate some new ideas that could improve the shoot.
I ensure my equipment package is thoughtfully assembled and well-maintained, then I'm free to focus all attention on understanding and meeting the needs of my clients.
I attempt to learn all I can about my subject so I am better able to tell a story. This works well with my fine art as well as my commercial work.
I try to prepare for everything and anything. Because I am shooting more digitally I have a tendency to over shoot things. I think in many ways I work like a cinematographer does. I know it is always better for e to shoot more variations of something especially if I am not going to be able to get back to a location again. I find it better to have more and edit back in the studio than to think I got the shot in i exposure. Sometimes the first shot is the best but I think that has been luck
If it is just me then there is only prop hunting to look for before a shoot. If its on a larger scale then I would have to prep the models and collect all the things I need for my idea.
As for mental preparation then there is very little needed. I pride myself on being in a frame of mind where I am only happy when I am creating something.
Naturally I need to have all my equipment ready like lenses and batteries charged, but that goes beyond saying.
I always try to do a pre shoot at an earlier date so I can study my subjects prior to the actual shoot.
It depends on how involved the photo session is. Sometimes I don't know what the client is bringing until she gets here. Other times I build an entire concept around her from clothing to makeup and hair.
|Concepting, lots of concepting...I have over three dozen little black moleskin books, the one with graphed pages, that I sketch the ideas into. Itís the place I capture and house them for safe keeping as they offer themselves to my mind. I like working on graph paper because it allows me to see the composition as a whole. I can clearly look at how the subject and objects are relating to one another, top third of image vs the lower middle of an image etc.; each position offers a different feel and experience to the viewer. Placement is important especially when crating a piece for an editorial. Knowing if the image needs to be horizontal, vertical, itís size requirements etc. is crucial in creating success within a project. Not every idea is appropriate for the horizontal stage Ė this is a glimpse into the preparation. Another part of my process is selecting the appropriate color, color temperature, line, texture, object, typography, light, format and so on. The process is extremely integrated within me at this point. Iíve been creating art professionally now for over ten years. The client I serve first is the Idea itself (goal/feel of project) second is its facilitator (actual client aka agent to idea). When hired to create for a client it is necessary to prepare for the success of the project. Preparation for me is another word for blueprint or map Ė a map to fulfillment. There is usually a lot of money, people and time involved on a project and without creating a blueprint to work from you threaten the fruition of the idea, campaign, and project Ė all of it. For me this is not acceptable and so I do my brainstorming, concepting, planning, and editing before picking up the camera. I need to be armed with the right decisions and course of action before releasing the shutter. Once the shutter is released, thatís it, an image is exposed whether digitally or on film, it doesnít matter. Sure, you can bracket but sometimes that isnít enough. I donít like shooting in the dark. For me it doesnít support confidence or my creativity, it stresses me out and shuts me down. I donít choose to worry about whether we ďgot itĒ - I choose to know it. This typically results in capturing the image I was hired to create within the first few frames. The great part is we now have the rest of our time on set to play and entertain the muses. It yields a relaxed environment that welcomes creativity ĖI love it!
The usual. Are the batteries charged? Are the cards reformatted? And I usually try to go through lighting and posing options in my head for each location.
Research, thought, planning, sleeping and not drinking too much.
I recharge my batteries.
I guess it's fairly usual stuff, scouting locations, scouting light, deciding on themes, how to light it and then picking the equipment and shooting
Basically I just check my battery, my cards to make sure they are charged and empty
Aside from preparing the equipment, I try to be in touch with my current feelings, because they are also part of the overall mood/tone of the image I am about to create. I try not to rehearse anything and go with the flow of my subject(s).
It depends upon my schedule or if it's something I happen to come across with a camera in hand. Sometimes I think about what I want to do for weeks or months before hand. If I'm hired by someone, it depends upon how soon they need their pictures.
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