I quite often get asked by clients and other photographers the same question. How do I get the most out of my photoshoot? When clients shell out their hard earned money shouldn’t they get the best bang for their buck? Well here are some helpful hints to make your shoot worth every penny!
Before making the jump and booking a shoot do a little research. Check out photographers and look at their work to see what kind of style you are going for. Is the look you are going for classic/modern? Do you want an environmental or studio shot? Natural light or studio lighting? All these factors come into play when searching for the right person. The best way I always find is to look at someones headshot that you really like and find a photographer that specializes in that look. Nothing is worse than booking a shoot and not getting exactly what you are paying for.
After selecting the photographer you are going to work with its time to plan. Planning should take place with both the photographer as well as the client. I usually ask a client to make me a mood board. A mood board is a series of images that portray the look the client is going for. This way you are both on the same page and not guessing what to do while the clock is ticking. This helps with determining clothing, hair, and location. Be sure to give yourself a lot of options. Something might be a theoretically good idea but not look so good once you get working on it. Maybe the shirt/dress you chose for a certain scene sounded good at the time but now its not quite working out. “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. Don’t wait for an inspired ending to come to mind. Work your way to the ending and see what comes up” – Andy Weir
So now you have picked the perfect photographer and came up with all your favorite looks. Time to find a Hair and makeup professional. Its not a must if you feel confident with your own skills. However this should be one last thing you worry about when you are actually shooting. I always advise clients to bring hair/makeup with them. Nothing is worse than coming to a shoot looking like a star then after a few outfit changes everything isn’t as polished anymore. Hair and Make-up artists can give you all the touch ups throughout the shoot so you look your best! Most photographers have someone they can refer to you so when booking just ask 🙂
The days before the shoot.
When having a photoshoot you want to look your best! Make sure to drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep. You should also avoid salty foods and heavy alcohol. This all sounds weird but when you get to your photoshoot you don’t want to look tired and bloated. I have had clients in the past who went out partying the night before and came to the shoot hungover with bags under their eyes. So make sure this doesn’t happen to you take good care of yourself the few days before. No ones wants to have to reshoot because they don’t like the way they look. This is pricy and waste of your time . I want you to look amazing!
The day of the shoot
After all the planning the day has arrived!! I always suggest that the client come a bit early to the shoot so they have some one on one time with the photographer. This is a great way to break the ice and not be so nervous when the actual process is happening. If you haven’t been on a shoot since your high school yearbook photos I suggest a play look. A play look is an outfit that you don’t really care if the photos come out looking great. It gives you time to get comfortable in front of the camera. It also gives the photographer an idea of your personality and movement making easier for them to direct you. This way you are not using good outfits for the ole deer in the headlights look. After all this sit back and enjoy the shoot! The shoot should be a fun and exciting experience not a stressful one.
After the shoot
Now that you completed your shoot its time to pick the images. For a lot of my clients this is usually the hardest part of the whole process. Finding and choosing the best ones can be a daunting thing for anyone. I suggest that you take a few days to mow it over rather than picking them as fast as you can. This way you can ask friends or family to help out so you feel confident that you made the best choices. I also highly suggest having the photographer help you with the selections. The photographer has experience finding the images that best represent you. A good way to do this is to send a few images you select to the photographer and the photographer send you back a few of their own. then you both compare and pick! I also can’t urge this enough but make sure that the photographer you selected is experienced in retouching. No one wants to pay a bunch of money and have their images over retouched.
In Closing .. Make sure you find a photographer that has the same vision as you. The photographer should make you feel comfortable and confident. Plan ahead and this will save you a ton of time which means more awesome images. Have a backup plan incase of bad weather or location issues as well as clothing malfunctions. Always have great hair and makeup so you look your best! Get plenty of sleep and drink water. Get comfortable with the photographer and yourself so when its show time you shine like a star! Then just have fun! Hope this article helped out if you have any suggestions please let me know I would love to hear feedback! You can view my work at http://www.joshuacutillo.com Enjoy the week and good luck on your shoot!