How to put together a TFP fashion photography shoot
Okay, you read my previous post on finding models. You’ve found someone to shoot. Now what? Here’s what you should do when you’re getting ready to do a fashion shoot:
1. What’s your concept? What is the shoot going to be? Will you be shooting one model against a white backdrop? Or 4 or 5 in an urban setting? Figure out all of the implications for your concept, and make sure that the shoot will not be beyond your grasp (artistically, or more likely, financially). It must be actually feasible.
2. List people you will use, and their responsibilities. Loosely, there are 5 areas of responsibility that make up a fashion shoot: Hair, makeup, wardrobe, photography and modeling. The shoot will only be as good as the collective talent of the people involved. Have you got those 5 areas covered with the most talented people you could find? Will you be using the model’s wardrobe? If not, where are the clothes coming from? Make sure that everyone knows what they are responsible for.
3. Assess your resources. What do you have, and how does that compare to what you will need? Make a list of both, and if you need to get anything new, get it with plenty of lead time, and test it before you bring it on a shoot. Talk with your team and make sure that they all have the things they will need as well.
4. Set your schedule. Get people’s schedules and plan to shoot in mutual free time with plenty of notice. Make sure that people understand that it’s still important to show up and be on time. Flakes do not get called back. Plan for things to take longer, and start later than you expect. Do not shoot on a tight schedule if you can afford it.
5. Prepare for contingencies. I’ll write a post later on pre-shoot photography equipment checklists (or link to one here.) Make sure that everyone has the day, time and location correct. Call the day before to make certain. Know people’s future schedules, so if something comes up, you can reschedule. Know other models and stylists, and book work with them, instead. Whatever happens, it’s important to not stand still. Keep your cell phone charged.
As long as everyone has their ducks are in a row, there shouldn’t be any problems. Thoughtful planning from the very start is the best way to make sure that your photo shoot goes well.