Having a photoshoot is probably one of the most dynamic activity a photographer can have, especially when it has to be done outside the studio and one has to leave the relative comfort and the awareness of where most things are within easy reach. Now, if you are planning a photoshoot, how crazy can it get? A lot!
You could see a location and plan to have a photoshoot there, and when you get there things could have changed or in particular, the scene which you had a vison for could have been removed. Or you find there is a need to get permission beforehand. Or a weather occurrence can erase or deter you from carrying out the vision you had. You get disappointed.
Even when just picking a remotely mundane location comes with its challenges. Walking through a bush and you have to worry over certain members of the local wildlife making an appearance; snakes. Going through town and you have to be extra careful you are not robbed or someone just bumped into you and you have a broken part of your tooms. Disappointments are always around the corner.
There is also the issue with personnel; your model(s) could cancel or are reluctant (or have a fear) of going to some places; or your clients might not behave or have unrealistic expectations (and you feel customer is supreme and you have to accommodate their every whims, without losing your head); and there are also your employees or assistants, the make-up artiste etc.
How do you try to control the variety of instances that can be against you? Or reach a level you are assured that there will be no problem and if any arises that you are equipped and prepared to handle it? Preparation, that is the first thing. Yet it’s not simply a routine of taking a causal look at things. So, how well do you prepare…
The first step, asking questions. From yourself mostly, since you tend to be more affected if anything goes wrong; you can end up not only disappointing yourself but also others, especially your client. Then you also ask from those directly and indirectly connected to your project; someone might show up and refuse to allow their property be used or featured in your pictures.
So, what questions do you ask? Normally, the things you can be in direct control of are often between two things: personnel and equipment. These two will be the focus of this article but if you can convince a snake not to disturb you, then you can add that as a win.
The second step involves trying to answer each question as best as they could be.
Considering that this is an encompassing topic with different scenarios, and not to generalise, we are going to go through two such occasions; a pre-wedding shoot and a child’s birthday shoot.
To be continued…