|What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
Every photo session is unique. Some may be spontaneous with no preparation at all. Others may be much more elaborate and involve research, concepting, scouting, equipment prep, etc... But all will always involve energetic creativity and passion preparation.
If the subject is someone I am not familiar with previous to the shoot, I try to get an understanding of their personality. Once I know a little about the person, I try to find props and locations that will match their identity. I always arrive early and plan out exact sittings and poses so I am ready when my client arrives.
I always take time to get to know the actor or subject before we shoot a session. On the phone and once they arrive we get to know each a little more taliking about life and needs and wants.
If it is an editorial piece, I read the article and research a bit about my subject. I look at what the current trends are, I seek inspiration from all avenues: video, movies, nature.
Depends on the session. But since primarily mine are all outdoors. I use a early 1900's German made Tripod. Its Brass and Lightweight to pack. I usually toss the Canon Rebel Digital in the camera bag, along with several lens and filters. I sling a Pentax K-1000 over my shoulder with severa rolls of both color and black and white film in the film carriers attached to the camera strap. Dress Accordingly. Usually I wear long sleeves and jeans with boots if going out in the wilderness. maybe cut-offs and tennies if I am going to be on hardstand or pavement. Always have some favorite energy snacks and lots of bottle water on hand. Sometimes you don't always have a fast food nearby. If I am hitting the woods, I take a map with me also. It's hard to photo the Eagles nesting area if you don't have a compass and map to find it. (or find your way out).
I have every type of equipment at hand. My years of experience lets me choose quickly which pieces to use in the appropriate situation. Sometimes I put myself into a good shooting situation with the "wrong" stuff just to force a fresh approach to the subject(s).
Preparation mentally?... not much~~ It comes natural and I don't have to think about much, or try to psych myself out because I "have to go to work"...
...........................no.............this is MUCH different:-)
As far as true hands on prepping for a shoot...
-Clear my memory cards and back up what I take off the cards into 2 different places (example 2 different hard drives).
-Clean my lenses
-Charge my batteries
-Purchase flash batteries
-Write the exclusive link on the backside of my business cards... If there are 200 guests, I usually fill out about 125 cards... This way I know most people will get one, unless of course their significant other got one already:-)
I lose sleep thinking about the shoot. But all that worrying has never helped. You can think about the general things like what the lighting is going to be like, What are you going to take with you equipment wise. But at the end, rarely it goes as planned. Holding onto a plan can get you in a weird mind set when things change.
Just make sure I have a spare battery and proper clothing.
I study maps, travel diaries, and sometimes also photographs or postcard for inspiration.
checking gear (camera body, lens, battery, etc) and Pray!
just making sure my equipment is ready
Check out the area the day before, finding 'my spot' and the best light.
I write down everything i need for the shoot at least 3 days in advance and then prior to the shoot i go to the locations with the person being photographed to get them eased into their surroundings. Then on D day i shoot
I make sure my camera's batteries are charged first. I also check the weather, possibly find my tri-pod and get dressed nice. Sometimes I get inspired to use myself as a model.
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