Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deconstructing the Photo-Part 1: Production

Back in May, I had a great shoot with Brittani Riggin pictured at left. The photo is one of the many good frames from the shoot. It also is a photo that will give me an opportunity to detail the flow of a photo shoot. This is the first post in a series that will deconstruct the work that went into making this photograph. The series will be broken down into three parts: Part 1: Production, Part 2: Hair Make-Up and Wardrobe, and Part 3: Lighting and Photography.

New photographers often struggle with finding models that are willing to work with them and that they will be comftorable with. This is a shoot that was done to help me work on my portfolio, so, unlike some professional photo shoots, I had to find my own model.

Finding a model for this shoot was pretty easy. The best place to look for a model is to scroll though your contact list and find someone that has a style that you want to shoot. I found Brittani though a friend, who is also a photographer and wanted to shoot her, too.

Now that we had our model, we had to decide on a location. The choice of location is critical to the outcome of a shoot. We chose to shoot in the studio on a grey seemless. For the look that we were after, it was the best option. Be sure that you have a location secured well before the shoot is going to take place.

The next step was getting a make-up artist lined up. A great way to search for make-up artists is through referrals from other photographers. The make-up artist for this shoot was one that had recently contacted me to test. Some make-up artists will require a testing fee, but some (like the one used on this shoot) volunteered her services.

Before the shoot, make sure you have all the photography gear and/or supplies you will need on set. For example, for this shoot, I had to buy a new roll of grey seamless and rent a light and an octobox.

Have food and drinks on set for the models and others. If the shoot will stretch an extended period of time, be prepared to have someone go get a meal or have one delivered.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, have a photo assistant on set at all times. A photo assistant is one of the most valuable people on set. The photo assistant is responsible for moving lights, adjusting power, cleaning up the set, and keeping everything flowing smoothly throughout the shoot. Make sure this is someone who understands lighting and with whom you work well.

Now that you have your pre-production done, it's time to create the model's look. In the next post, we will cover hair, make-up and wardrobe.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I am proud to say that I have finally gotten my blog off the ground. A big thank you to Michael Gomez for getting my blog linked into my website! Visit Michael's website at www.gomezphotography.com

This blog will be about my career as a professional photographer and about photography in general.

--Post From My iPhone