Preparing for your shoot - get the most out of your people and locations
Got some staff members being photographed? Is the boss providing 'value-add input' while you're doing all the hard work? Here are some pointers to help you prepare your people and locations to get the most of out of your professional photography shoot.
People appearing in the shoot
People need to feel at ease in front of the camera otherwise they will appear constipated. To prepare give them plenty of notice and information.
- They should have time to organise hair-cuts or a new shirt if they want to. Greater confidence = less constipation. This isn’t a rule for life or anything, just photography.
- Give them a copy of the brief and encourage them to get in contact with me if they’re nervous or have questions
- We will have discussed wardrobe, props and gear so tell them what to bring and anything we've discussed about wardrobe. Architects: Unless you want to look like an ironic wiggle, put the black skivvy down.
- If we use a makeup artist tell ladies to keep their own makeup light and warn the men they may have some man dirt (read: pressed powder) applied so they don’t look shiny
People at the site
The people on the ground are who we need cooperation from so make sure they know the shoot is taking place, not just the team managers or location supervisors.
The Site Itself
Do a site inspection to make sure there’s nothing around you don't want showing up in your images. Pay attention to things that may be contrary to company policy, legislation or safety requirements and tidy up as much as possible before the shoot begins.
Make sure there’s nothing special planned at your location that will affect the shoot; office or plant maintenance, large pieces of equipment planned as backgrounds moved off site before the shoot.
Food, water, and shade for your people is all really important to help them get through their shoot.
Can I get access to the site immediately or are there special safety, sign in, sterilisation, decontamination or induction procedures I need to go through in the days or hours before? This is particularly relevant if you’re using a location that belongs to one of your clients – they may have different rules around granting access to site visitors, particularly photographers.
In the End
This is why the brief is so important as I am able to ask you all these questions and more to make sure even the tiniest details don’t put a great shoot at risk.
On the Day
Once you've done all the preparation, don't worry - it isn't your responsiblity to make your people feel relaxed or look comfortable on the day. That's my job, and it's part of the reason you've hired me.
So, don't worry about how you're going to convert your boss' 'I'd like to kill you' look into a 'Hey, clients! I'm not scary! I'm awesome! You should visit me!' face. Relax and let me do all the hard work (and dodgy joke telling).