Have a Plan!
Sep 19, 2023
Always come to a portrait shoot with a plan. Having a vision in your head to provide direction for the shoot is an essential ingredient to creating compelling portraits. Prior to the shoot, spend the time to think carefully about the lighting, background, wardrobe, makeup, and hair. Sit or stand where you’ll position the model and get a feel for what the lighting looks like from her perspective. All the details need to be sorted prior to the actual shoot so you can adequately communicate them to the hair and make-up people. Know the look you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to make it come alive.
Spend time in advance of the shoot with the lights and backgrounds. Sit or stand where you'll position your model and get a feel for what the lighting looks like from her perspective. Learn how the light looks by taking a few test shots with yourself in the frame.
While having a plan is important, so is flexibility. The mood of a shoot can shift without a moment’s notice, and you need to be able to adjust accordingly. The way the light falls on a model’s face may be different from what you expected so you need to make necessary adjustments based on what you see. Observe, decide, and then adjust.
Best advice, stay present and engaged. Some photographers take 500 or more images during a shoot and none of them have an emotional impact. To avoid this waste of time and energy, make genuine connections with your client and remain engaged throughout the session.
Actor / Dancer / Model: Monroe Cline.