My first photoshoot - tips/suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tekmoe, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. tekmoe, Jun 18, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    tekmoe macrumors 68000

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    Feb 12, 2005
  2. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #2
    I know this sounds a bit snotty right out of the gates, but make sure you value your time and make sure that looks like getting paid - it's important for so many reasons and for you to not be used.

    Id also say make sure the communication is incredibly clear between this person and yourself. Poor communications leads to mis-matched expectations which leads to a frustrated photographer.

    I'd personally suggest signing a contract as well, protect yourself mate :) I know that seems silly but hang around long enough and you will be glad you have been writing contracts all along.

    On location, be familiar w/ the location to some degree and talk to the client as much as possible - ask the client about themselves and probe a little bit, it helps everyone relax. Think of questions in advance

    Lastly, have a blast man and don't worry about it to much. These were just things that came off the top of my head and through experience. I certainly hope they help on some level.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  3. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #3
    Yeps, have a blast and try to charge not too much money. Also make sure you interact NATURALLY with the person. It's the thing that i get most feedback for, communicate and engage in conversation. Not necessarily the weather but general things and shooting related points. run ideas by her as you shoot and BE relaxed.. if you relax, she relaxes and it becomes easy. I m just wondering if you should borrow either a 50mm or 85mm prime for portrait shots. With that 35mm on your camera you will be quite in her face for portraits, 50mm (on the d5000 75mm :)) or even the 85mm gives you space and working distance. For working with strangers this might be a good thing.

    Best of luck man..
     
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #4
    Aside from the normal watch out for craigslist scams etc speech I will say here are some shooting tips since you don't have a flash...

    -Shoot in the morning. Evening light is too harsh to shoot without some fill.

    -Plan your shots ahead of time. The customer never knows what they want and they want you to guide them. Scout locations, try poses with a friend, etc.

    -When scouting, shoot a friend at the same time you plan on shooting your customer so you know where the light is in your scene at that time of day.

    -Don't let a tripod weigh you down. I'm a big one for shooting without a tripod. I think the shots come off a lot better when you catch people naturally rather then making them pose while you adjust everything.
     
  5. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Did anyone mention reflectors? If not: reflectors. The more light you can get on your client the better.
     
  6. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #6
    For an absolute first photo shoot, I'd actually have to respectfully disagree w/ you on the reflector. You are adding a whole new element w/ a reflector and if the OP isn't used to using a reflector or hasn't done it much, at a first photo shoot is NOT the place to try to figure that out. Bounced light and strobe photography changes quite a bit about the way someone should shoot.

    My gut advice is to always take what you are absolutely comfortable with. Period.

    I NEVER shoot a client w/ strobes, lenses, or equipment that I haven't spent a very long time learning to understand. Why? They are paying me for my understanding of that equipment and if I show up with it and use them as "learning time" they are going to be upset because I am using them - rightfully so. This certainly isn't a hard and fast rule and I by no means am telling you what to do, so keep that in mind :) The OP is on a first shoot, it is very much a learning experience.

    Using a reflector also required bringing another person/assistant that starts to complicate the shoot and multiplies the possibilities of the client feeling uncomfortable as well as the photog feeling uncomfortable as well as another person to communicate w/ which dulls the photog/client conversation.

    HOWEVER, you are exactly right - the more light you can get to the model/client, the better. I apologize if that came off too strong!

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  7. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #7
    Truer words have not been spoken. Most of my colleagues strongly shy away from craigslist. Why? Lots of reasons, but mostly these:


    1. You advertise yourself as a photog - they know you are showing up with some expensive equipment. I have seen it more than once a person get all their gear stolen. Be careful of where they want to shoot and take some friends with you FOR SAFETY.

    • Craigslist is someone looking for a bargain which means you could be anyone - you could be their cousin w/ a camera. The further you move along in your carrer, this starts to strongly impede your work and harm your brand. I've heard this argued both ways many times, so this is just my opinion - but I've also seen it happen.

    All in all, have fun man - don't stress out about it - also don't try to digest all of the advice here at once. My brain would explode if I was trying to internalize this stuff for a first shoot... it comes with time and working w/ clients :)

    Have fun!
    Brian

    edit - I know I have two "1's" in my list, I apologize! :)
     
  8. atlanticza macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Cape Town
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    Probably too late for this shoot, but for someone reading this thread in hindsight. One poster suggested not using a tripod. There are two schools of thought here.

    1) Don't use tripod because then your shots are more "live" and you have flexibility to move to get the framing you need. However, you (the photographer) will appear to be hiding behind the camera. Especially for someone not used to be photographed (which is most paying clients, except for models needing headshots) they need the eye contact with the photographer to feel comfortable.

    2) Take the time to set up the shot before hand with a tripod. Then stand to the side and engage your client, eye to eye, while you talk them through some poses that won't make them move beyond the bounds of what you have set up. Then, repose them and reframe the shot, and step back to the side.

    With people I don't know well I will usually start with the tripod. You can actually get some very candid and energetic shots this way. I like being able to also pay attention to all the details I can see (loose hairs, dust on shirts, etc) live rather than through the view finder. In most cases once the client has gotten warmed up and more comfortable you can then pop the camera off the tripod for a while. I don't know which way gives me the best shots.

    Like any portrait shooting, you (as the photographer) need to be able to read your client, and adapt to their needs - not make them adapt to yours. If they need the eye to eye contact in order to show you what you want to see - then it's tripod time. If your client likes to spin cartwheels in the sand, then handheld is way to go.

    Hope the shoot went well. :D
     
  10. tekmoe thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #10
    Sorry forgot to update this thread. I was a bit iffy about the situation and decided to not go thru with it. I called the girl back and let her know I wasn't going to be able to make it. She said she would email sometime next week but I know I won't hear from her again. lol
     

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