Friday, 20 November 2009

#8: The shoot cycle

I have been doing test shoots for about 2yrs now and I tend to enjoy most of them. I actually get a high when the ideas come together well and I get the shoots I am looking for. Now what is a test shoot; it’s basically a shoot mutually agreed between a bunch of creatives (photographer, model, make up artist, etc) for the purpose of developing their respective portfolios. At these types of shoots, the costs are divided between the creatives and everybody provides their services for free.
Before any shoot I think about an idea that represents the concept of the shoot. For me, idea is key and I am not happy going into a shoot without a suitably formulated concept. Once the idea is put together, everything else follows from there from choosing the right model for the shoot and other creatives (make up artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist) to picking the colour scheme. I have found that picking the right creative is paramount in making or breaking the shoot among other things. For example; If a model cannot pose or act to illustrate the message you are trying to put across, either it be fashion or a story, then it will hurt the image. I take my time to pick the right people and I am getting better at it from continuous testing.

A beauty image from a recent test shoot

While I am putting the creatives together, I am also looking for a location which could be a studio or location depending on the concept put together.  Outside locations are particularly challenging as I am at the mercy of the British weather. Closer to the shoot date I brain storm with the various creatives involved and explain my ideas and what they need to do for the shoot.
Shoot day and I make sure to have a nice day, get some nice breakfast ………………. Full English baby!!! toast, eggs, baked beans, sausages and bacon, my mouth is watering already. Listen to my favourite music on the way into the shoot so I am in a good happy mood. Its important to give a nice friendly vibe packed with a some energy to create the right atmosphere for everybody in the shoot. To help even more I am gonna be purchasing an ipod touch to create a jamming session. Creative people love the right vibe, it can make or break the shoot ……………… it seriously can. That’s why divas and big personalities ask for puppies or flowers at events …………….. I am not condoning it, but from what I know it creates the right state of mind for them to feel comfortable in. NO I will not make any diva demands …………………….. yet, give me a few years LOL. Very importantly I pray to God before any shoot and commit the exercise into his hands (yes that’s right G-O-D, well He did give me the talent, so He is very instrumental in how I use it).
After the shoot is done, I load the images unto my PC (yes a Windows PC and I am very ashamed to say so, I will get a MAC soon) and review and process them in Adobe Lightroom. Extra creative stuff is done in Adobe Photoshop.

another image from a recent fashion test shoot. I really liked having the horse in the background, I thought it added something intriguing to the image

Putting together a shoot is quite involving, a lot of time and effort goes into making the images look the way they look.
I am at an exciting time right now as I embark on a journey with a few animal friends ……………. Watch this space, all will be revealed.

Have a great weekend
I know I will

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