Getting ready for shooting day

I often get asked, what's the next step? 

After someone decides they want to schedule a photo shoot.  Truth is every photographer works a little bit differently. For me however there are a few essential key things that must happen before the big day.  

The first step is what I consider the most essential one; location. Many people often have grand ideas of background scenery but as a photographer there are many factors to consider when shooting. Are the photos being taken indoor or outdoor? If it's in an area which you do not have immediate access to, do you know someone who does? Is it easily accessible? Remember we as photographers sometimes have a large amount of equipment to carry. Lights, light stands, reflectors are just the beginning. On an average shoot a photographer can sometimes have an average of about 100 pounds worth of equipment in lighting and props. Trust me you won't have a happy photographer once he realizes the only way to get to the location is up a mountain. 

Lighting is another huge factor. Do you want a more natural look to your photos in the sunlight or do you prefer more dramatic lighting using special filters. If you want to play with lighting and use flash power is also a factor. Making sure there is adequate power supply for your photographer or access to generators if it's in a remote area.  Adequate lighting can really make or break a photograph. 

The next thing to consider are props. Some of the best photos I taken have used props in one way or another. A prop can consist in as something as simple as a chair or as intricate as a vintage car. The proper use of props can make a photograph more fun or more classic depending on what the look you are trying to create is.  I personally like to use things that are in scale to the shoot, fewer items rather than a bunch of smaller items. I also like to use things that can give the hands something to do. Often times I find that people have a hard time trying to figure out what to do with their hands. Giving them something to hold on to, or gran on to sometimes makes people feel more at ease. Again be sure to check with your photographer about what are proper things to use as props for your shoot.

The next thing to consider before your shoot is styling.  Styling includes hair, makeup and the fashion you deicide to wear.  Often times people decide to do their own hair and make up, which is fine for simple shoots, but if you really want to take your photos to the next level hiring a make up artist and a stylist might be the way to go. After all is not everyday you have your own photo shoot right?

If you been doing all these things to get ready for your shoot, chances are you're already doing this next step which is, planning. A little planning goes a long way. Just like you wouldn't call a doctor and ask him to prep for surgery the next day, a photographer needs it's time to plan, research and create a concept and get things together.

The last thing to remember, while it might be obvious to some is to smile. Once your shoot day comes remember it should be a fun experience. There is nothing worse to a photographer than to be shooting someone who is not having fun or doesn't want to have their photo taken.  Remember if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right!

Hope these tips help you have a better shoot experience whether is your first time in front of the lens of your a professional model. 

Thank you and don't for get to Imagine! 

Luis Barrera

featured: Model Madison F.