Planning a shoot

July 01, 2018

We frequently have people come and shadow us in the studio or out on location, and a question we get asked often is how we plan for our shoots.  Today I am gonna give you all the steps we use when planning out our shoot.

1. The Concept: Be sure you have a well thought out concept.  The example I will be using is a shoot we did with a model named Taylor.  She wanted to recreate some Audrey Hepburn shots.  Both she and her boyfriend are huge fans of Audrey and a tribute shoot sounded fun.  One of the most Iconic shots is the Breakfast at Tiffany's shot.  So our concept started to become clear. 

2. Styling: You must absolutely plan out hair, makeup, wardrobe, and accessories.  failure to plan out these details will leave you quickly trying to toss things together the day of the shoot and will leave you with a half complete look.  Luckily for us Taylor had the make up, dress, and some accessories.  We had the gloves and some pearls.  Amy was up for the challenge of doing Taylor's hair.  Our look was complete

3. Location: We looked for a location that would work.  The shot would look out of place in a modern establishment, so we wanted to go somewhere that had an older look that was still accessible to photographers.  For this we went downtown to the Old Market and found an empty table that was in the shade.  Since I was shooting at F2, the background would be mostly blurred.

4. Lighting:  A shaded location provided half of the lighting we needed.  Now I wanted to set up my camera to expose for a bright, but not blown out background.  After I locked in those settings, we powered up our Flashpoint Xplor600 with a 22 inch beauty dish and added the fill light needed to get the correct exposure on the model.

5. Editing:  Because the original shot was done on film and looks kind of faded, we wanted to go with more of a vintage edit.  We desaturated our edit slightly, adjusted contrast levels, and did some color grading to get the final look we wanted.

The other shots from this set were done in the studio using a basic high key set up using a 7 foot umbrella with our Xplor 600, and a Ringlight, again using more vintage toning or black and white.   Hopefully providing you all with the 5 main points we plan out before a shoot helps you the next time you set up a shoot.

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