Prepping for a shoot

It’s 1 hour ’til midnight and I’m preparing for a big shoot tomorrow for LOOK Hawaii Magazine. 3 models, 2 makeup artists, 3 photographers. It’s gonna be epic.
I thought I’d walk you through my preparation process:

  1. Breakdown studio strobes/umbrella stands. I use the same lights for my indoor studio shots as I do my outdoor shots, so each setup is a fresh install. It would be nice to not have to do this, but sharing lights is a must-do for the budget photographer.
  2. Charge Batteries. I have a craft bead organizer that I use to house my batteries. The slots are labeled A-F. Old/Used batteries go into the D-F slots. Batteries in slots A-C are freshly charged and ready for use.
  3. Style outfits & pull costumes. Sifting through my costume/prop library is fun. I’m in the process of photographing my ever-expanding collection, which will be turned into a searchable database. This should speed up my process. For now, I rifle through each clothing pile manually.

    Before styling an outfit, I do heavy amounts of research. I save reference photos and constantly refer back to them. If I don’t have specific items, I will go buy it; I usually purchase outfits up to 3 days before a shoot. Whenever I go on a shoot, I always bring options. You never know how a model looks in an ensemble until you have them wear it. I like to have 2-3 different variations (different hats, glasses, etc.) as a back-up plan.

  4. Pack/Clean equipment. I bring all my lenses with me. Eventhough I plan my shots out in advance, I may just play it by ear and use a different lens on location. Better safe than sorry.
  5. Place equipment by front door. This is essential. Most of the time I can’t spare the minutes it takes to make sure everything is there. Memory fails us from time to time, but you’re guaranteed to remember something if you trip over it on your way out.
  6. Sleep. I cannot stress how important this step it. It’s not only the models’ job to look good, you should look good behind the camera as well. A good night’s sleep will do you wonders.

I hope this list proves helpful. I can’t wait to shoot tomorrow. Here’s hoping the weather remains beautiful…