12 July, 2016

How to manage a photo shooting? TUTORIAL for a newbie photographers.

By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels
I've wanted to share this experience for a long time because I know personally how hard it can be to manage a shooting at the beginning of your career as a photographer. I have to say that this tutorial is not perfect or universal, it's more like recommendations, the description of how I do it with small advices, which I hope will be useful to you, guys. If you find this topic not covered for yourself or have any questions left in the end - feel free to text me on Facebook or via e-mail.

So, let's begin!

DEFINE THE IDEA OF SHOOTING - How to manage a photo shooting 

I guess it's an obvious step which should be taken first and will define all our next steps during the planning. So decide - what do you want to shoot?

In case you're shooting for a client - discuss this topic with him/her in a very detailed way. If this is your own creative shoot - still don't skip this step or anything that is written below.

On this step I usually create a small inspiration mood board which helps me to visualize the idea for myself and later will help me to explain the idea to the model, stylist and make-up artist (or other members of the crew if you have a crew). Into the mood board I try to include everything that reflects my idea - starting from how I would like the model to look like (hair, make up, clothes) and finishing with posing, light schemes and overall color of the shoot. For that I use any images I can find in the net (explore Pinterest, Instagram or simply Google).
Example of how I do it:
By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels photography

Examples in the net - here.

DEFINE THE OBJECT- How to manage a photo shooting 

When you are preparing the shoot for the client - the object is probably or obviously your client. 
If you are shooting self portraits - than you have no problems with defining the model :) In case you work with someone except yourself - you will have to think of what kind of model you'd want to have on your shooting. He or she, eyes and hair color, and other obvious etc. things. If you know models who fit and ready to collaborate - that's perfect, if not - you'll have to look for such (usually I post the request on my fb group and in couple of hours I have a model ready to take part). Or you also can use the services of local model agencies which give you a vast choice of models ready to work with you in your project.
By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels photography


DEFINE THE LOCATION- How to manage a photo shooting 

Not a secret that the locations has to meet the requirements set in your idea. Personally I shoot both in and out doors depending on what fits best to each shooting.
When you need to shoot in doors - there can be millions of variations of where it can be but the most obvious one - a studio. So what you need to do is call and reserve a time for your shooting (soon we'll talk about how to calculate how much time you need). 
When you choose to shoot outdoors - things can become more complicated because there will appear many unpredictable variations (such as weather conditions, natural lights changing, interruptions, etc.). The important thing is to be prepared to all those things and think through the plan B (in case of raining or the location is closed or taken by other people at this time, etc.)
In both cases I advice you to check the location preliminary the shooting and make some simple shots of it on your phone even just to be able to visualize it in combination with your idea later if needed.
By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels photography


MODEL PREPARATION TIME- How to manage a photo shooting 

Usually I ask model to come to the shooting with clean face and no make up on (unless it's my client who knows exactly what he/she wants and gets prepared before the shoot), so when makeup artist does her job I can have a little bit of control on the model's look in process, not when it's all done, the same with hair stylist and wardrobe. Considering this I agree to meet with all shooting crew in 1.5-2 hours before the shooting time just to get  100% prepared. If you have more than 1 model - definitely you'll need more preparation time and/or more people in your shooting crew. Also think of inviting someone who can help you with holding the reflector (or any other props) during the shoot (usually I ask make up artist to help me out with that if she has time).
By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels photography
By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels photography


Well, this is pretty much it. Go and make photographs! And don't forget to thank all the people who took part in the shooting. But the most important thing - don't forget to have as much fun during the process of shooting as you can, don't be stressed, enjoy what you're doing (even if you see that something doesn't work out well, shit happens). Because every time when you'll be looking at the resulted image - having fun in the company of beautiful and creative people - are the best possible memories to retrieve.
By Nina Sinitskaya and Grain Pixels photography
P.S. Forgot to tell you one essential thing. If the photo session that I organize is TF - despite the idea/concept that I shoot, I always make a separate images for make-up and hair/wardrobe stylist because they need an image with their work highlighted into their portfolios. Don't forget about that ;)