8 Best Pre-Production Tips for Fashion Photoshoot
Let’s discuss some useful tips on how to produce a fashion photoshoot. Fashion photography isn’t easy, and professional photographers are under extreme pressure to perform result proving photoshoots.
Actually, only the end results should matter, but as said by professionals, sometimes, your preparation and efforts towards such shoot also help to make the photoshoot a success.
In this helpful guide, we will pin the fashion photoshoot checklist and the facts that you should keep in consideration to perform best out of you when you get the opportunity to perform such a shoot.
1. Client meeting
Any shoot in its inception starts with meeting clients. A photographer gets a call from his or her PR agency or from advertisement agencies or directly from clients and they generally provide a brief idea of what they want to get shot.
Oftentimes they also share a presentation with pointers on what message they want to convey through the shoot, what kind of products they are looking to display and what kind of end-use they are looking at.
Depending on these basic instructions the photographer has to create a presentation to convince the client through visual representation about the style of shooting that suits the client’s requirements.
This meeting is extremely crucial and requires a lot of homework from the photographer’s end. The photographer has to have a clear idea about the budget, the shooting time required, the models and so on.
The photographer also needs to give ideas of locations (in case of outdoor shoots), Studios (in case of indoor shoots) and designers (be it food or fashion) that they can suggest.
You should consider budgeting for fashion photography. A client who is usually promoting a brand or a product almost always wants the best photographers for the best prices.
This is generally true for all clients since everyone has a fixed advertising budget every year with which they have to work. It is imperative that the photographer keeps the budgeting at a minimum without sacrificing on creativity.
Everything from the cost for make-up artists, stylists, logistics, lighting and studio, camera bags, equipment renting, costume renting, photo editing cost and more needs to be taken into account when budgeting.
If you are new to the game, make sure your costs for data storage as well since a regular shoot will run into a few terabytes of data at the least.
Also, add a miscellaneous cost in case there is something that goes amiss during shoots. Props are another area where you may incur costs.
3. Deciding the team
Deciding the team is also a significant part of the shoot when it comes to commercial or fashion photography. When selecting the team for a shot look for hardworking people who are creative and are problem solvers.
The team needs to vibe well and thus it is important to select like-minded people. Sometimes the shoots can run throughout the night, so make sure they are willing to put in extra hours in the preparation of the shoot and the shoot itself.
The models need to be comfortable around your team. So, it is vital that they are well dressed, well behaved and well-groomed.
You can check their previous work and call up other photographers they have worked for if you are looking for a long-standing partnership with them.
4. Bookings for the shoot and recce
Certain bookings are required for a fashion photoshoot. If you do not have a team of your own, you will need to book the team for the day.
Apart from that, props for the shoot dresses that the models will wear, stylist, equipment all require booking and advance planning of the same is important.
The team has not attended the meeting with the client. So, it is thus imperative that you brief them about the fashion photoshoot. Each team member should know and execute their role in the set-up and during the shoot as well.
Assign them distinct work functions and make sure they understand what they have to do. Coordination between the separate teams is absolutely essential.
Brief them about what you wish to achieve as the end result and ask for their inputs. There is always a chance to learn from people, even if they are junior technicians, make-up artists or assistants who are less experienced than you.
If someone suggests an idea that you like, give them credit for it. This will help you in the long run as they will remember your good nature and this will help you make a name in the industry. Honesty always pays dividends.
The briefing session needs to cover everything from the light set-up, logistics, make-up, timing of each model’s make-up, scheduling of certain deadlines to even refreshments that need to be arranged apart from obviously the shoot and concepts of the shoot.
6. Meeting the models
Models require adequate attention for and before a shoot. The models need to be briefed about the shoot as well. Their costumes need to be pre-decided and should fit them perfectly.
They need to be informed about what the shoot will be about if any products are being shot with them, which another model will be there and so on. Ask them about their level of comfort and what they are comfortable with.
Never force something on them that they may not wish to do on the shoot as this not only will be considered as harassment but also the photographs won’t look good if the models do not look comfortable.
Ask the models for shoots from previous photos as well since you can get an idea of which angles, they might look good in. Play loud music and ask the model to share a playlist of their choice with you so that the music can help them stay focused. Most fashion photography shoots these days play music for this sole reason.
7. Discussing post-production
Post-production is as important to understand and discuss as any other aspect of the shoot. Discussing how to edit a photo is especially important when photographing for a conceptual shoot.
If you discuss your shoot with a retoucher in advance he or she will give your ideas that you can execute during shoots to get a better end result. It will also help the retoucher to give you the finished products in a lot less time as he or she will have to work on the images less.
When a theatre is being practiced for a new show, they perform dry runs on stage to understand positioning, dialogue throw, lighting, etc. Similarly, for these shoots, a dry run is a must!
Ask someone from the team to act as the model for the day and check each lighting set-up. Make sure your team knows their duties and see if everything is working like a well-oiled machine. This will help you in avoiding any unforeseen errors on the day of the shoot.
Now that we have covered everything that you might want to look into till the day of the shoot, you can check out our article on what needs to be done during or after the shoot in another article in this issue.