When I wrote my series of blog posts on everything you need to know before you organize your first photoshoot I received a lot of questions about my process when I am putting together the shoot. If you haven’t read the posts, I recommend you read them first and then you come back and continue reading this post. It’s a series of 4 posts and you can find them by following these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
I already wrote about my process when organising fashion editorials for submissions when I was interviewed by Rion Magazine at the beginning of the year. You can see the full interview here. The following is an extract of that interview:
“(…) let’s say that
I am shooting an editorial that I want to pitch to a magazine and it’s a
So a couple of months before the actual shoot I think about what I am
going to shoot. What is the story behind the shoot, what do I want the
models to be doing in the photos, where are those models (location),
what will they be wearing that conveys the message that I am trying to
express, etc… and with all this information I would create a moodboard.
Once I have the general idea of the shoot I think about when I will
shoot (I usually give myself 2 months for a shoot like this), what kind
of crew do I need and where will I be shooting this. So I contact my
regular team and if they are not available then I would contact people
that I have met in networking events or that I have worked with at some
point and sometimes even people who have contacted me directly
expressing their interest in doing something with me. While setting up
the team I start quoting locations.
In the meantime, I usually already know which stylist I will be
working with but if I don’t then that would be one of the first crew
members that I would look for. Because the stylist will be the one who
would translate all my moodboard into the actual brands and clothes to
use. It’s also true that at times the stylists are the ones who come to
me with a concept they want to explore and we develop it together. So it
works the other way around too.
The team is complete, the location has been sourced and the date set.
Then I work with each of the team members on coming up with the
different looks for the shoot: the different makeups to do, how many
different hair styles we will use, how will the video look like, etc.
At this point I pitch the whole concept to a magazine that I have in
mind at the moment. I will send them the moodboard (style, makeup, hair,
lighting, type of models) and the whole info on the crew and the date
and time of the shoot.
And meanwhile the stylist is sourcing the clothes from brands and PR
agencies and they show me the different style ideas to see if I like
where they are going.
By then a whole month has gone by and then we start looking for
models. Depending on the type of model we want we then contact the
agency that we feel has what we are looking for.
We are now at two weeks of the shoot and the stylist more or less has
decided the brands and styles we will use. We then put the looks
together and most of the times we will create a couple of looks more
than the ones planned just in case.
One week before the shoot I will confirm crew, location and models
and if anyone or anything fails then we still have one week to react.
Two days before the shoot I prepare a detailed schedule for the day:
when are we starting, when are we wrapping up, how long does hair and
makeup take, how long does each of the photos will take to shoot
including changes in clothes and hair and makeup, etc. This will help
the whole team know exactly at what point in time we are at each moment
during the shoot. I then print this schedule along with the call sheet,
the moodboard, the names and photos of the models so everyone knows
their names and the concept of the shoot. An informed team is key to the
success of the shoot.
The day before the shoot I prepare all my equipment and pack
everything I am taking with me, including the refreshments for the whole
crew and the models. A fed team is a happy team, and a happy team makes
The day of the shoot I arrive at least 15min earlier so I am there
when everyone else arrives. I paste the printed schedule and the rest of
the sheets on the wall and when everyone is there I have a 15min
meeting explaining the plan for the day.
The day goes by, we wrap up and the shooting is done. Then I get home
and the first thing I do is backup all the photos to my backup disk.
And then the selection and editing process begins. Depending on the type
of shoot the editing can last from 30 minutes to 4 hours per photo. So
the next few days after the shoot I spend them retouching.
Once the photos are retouched I share them with the crew to see if
they see something that might need correcting and that I haven’t
noticed. Once all the corrections are made, the photos are sent to the
magazine and I hold my breath until they give me their approval. And
then just wait until the release date of the issue.”
I hope this answers most of your questions. If you still have any doubts do not hesitate to comment below or to drop us a line and we will be happy to help!
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