This is aimed mostly at the newbie and those who want to branch into fashion / people photography but need to get a portfolio of work together so potential clients can see what you have to offer. We are going to presume that you've done the basics of deciding what it's you're going to be…
This is aimed mostly at the newbie and those who want to branch into fashion / people photography but need to get a portfolio of work together so potential clients can see what you have to offer.
We are going to presume that you've done the basics of deciding what it's you're going to be photographing along with your idea and theme. I'm going to talk you through an idea for a photo shoot I did when at college so I can tell you about how I planned it. (I chose a 1940's style pin-up)
So we've chosen our theme 1940's pin-up, now we need to think about these things:
1. How many models do we want to use
2. Who will do the hair and make up
3. Who will do the wardrobe styling
4. Where are we going to do the photo shoot
5. What equipment will we need
Say we've decided we want to use 2 models that's great but where are we going to find 2 models and how much will they cost? When I was at college I did not have a lot of money so paying for models was not really an option for me. A lot of people when making a portfolio will use their friends or family which is not always the best idea. If they are genuinely suitable for your photo shoot though, great use a friend or family member. Otherwise you need to find a way to advertise for a model, I used a few internet advert sites, just putting up a casting call firing I needed a model and what for. There are also websites where photographers / models / stylists etc can upload their portfolios for everyone to view and are willing to work on a TFP basis (time for print / digital images instead of money). Working with someone a TFP basis is great if you're both updating or starting a portfolio as you do not pay with cash just your time and photos, so it's a win, win situation for everyone.
So we've got our 2 models who are willing to work on a TFP basis, we now need to find someone who can do their hair and makeup. We can find a hair and makeup artist exactly the same way we found our models, advertise with a casting call or browse the online portfolio sites and ask if they'd be willing to work on a TFP basis. Once you've found a hair and makeup artist, send them links to images of the models they'll be working with and images of ideas you have for makeup. So in this case we would send the makeup artist images of 1940's pin-up girls suggesting we need make up done in a similar way to this. It's important to communicate with your team so everyone knows what their role is before the day of the photo shoot.
Again when finding a wardrobe stylist you would do the same thing you did when finding a model and makeup artist, advertise and ask. When working with a stylist however you may need to spend some money on hiring clothing depending on where it's coming from. As the 1940's theme is a dated and period look, I had a stylist who rented some clothing from a period costume store. Also when working with a stylist it's import to show them images of ideas and who they'll be working with, including height, clothing size etc you can not afford to have your stylist show up with clothing that does not fit your models.
So we've got our team together, it's now time to decide where we'll be doing the photo shoot, this is where you may have to start paying for things. If you're still at college you should be able to use your college photography studio for a photo shoot. If not there are places that are willing to rent out their studios when not in use at roughly £ 50 for half a day. There's also the option of shooting on location, in my case this is what I did. I found an aircraft museum that had plenty of period aeroplanes and military planes, I then got in touch with them explaining that I would like to do a photo shoot and how many people would be in the team. This museum was kind enough to let me use their promises for free on the basis that I would not be making any profit from the images, once I had edited the images I sent them a few via email as a thank you. I also did this at a period train station, again I explained what I wanted to do, how the images would not be used for profit and again they kindly agreed. Sometimes it's simply a case of asking, not everyone will say yes, but it's worth putting yourself out there because in some cases they do.
Now you've got your team, you've got your locations; you now need to think about equipment. I was shooting both outdoors and indoors so I decided to take flashes / strokes with me. They were not anything fancy just a couple of speed lights on light stands with shoot through umbrellas to soften the light. Equipment is very important, if you are going to be using something like flashes do not forget spare batteries, if you're going to be taking wide shots and close up shots make sure you take both lenses. If you're unsure whether or not to take something, then take it just in case, if you decide you do not need it, no problem. However if you decide you do and have left it at home then you do have a problem.
Let's do a quick overview:
1. Advertise for a model, browse portfolio sites, ask if they'd be willing to work a TFP basis.
2. Do the same for makeup artists and stylist, advertise and ask!
3. Make sure you communicate with your team even before the day of the photo shoot, everyone needs to know what their roles is and what they're doing so there is not any problems on the day.
4. Scout for locations, do some looking to find the right place and do not be afraid to ask owners of premises if you can do a photo shoot, some love the idea especially when they get images afterwards.
5. Be prepared, make sure you pack your equipment the night before, check it and then check it again, do not leave behind anything you might need just in case.
And that's it really, it can be hard work setting up a photo shoot but it does not have to be expensive, you'll find models and stylists in the same position as you looking to build a portfolio on a budget, just don ' t be afraid to ask.