Shoot preparation – shoot with Kim part I

beauty, Personal Pictures

I have been asked about shoot preparation, one night when I gave a lecture about my ‘natural beauty’ shoots to a local photo club in Ghent.
Actually I am not the person that will make a lot of preparations before a photo shoot. Some of the things I do prepare however:
1. Of course I get my gear ready, which means I will check my batteries, my camera’s, the memory cards (at least one per camera). I gather extra’s I might need (tripod, monopod, reflecting panel – Trigrip by Lastolite and the tripod stand to hold it –
2. I do quite some communication about the content of the shoot with my model. For a paying shoot, it is up to the model of course to decide what she wants, but most often I will discuss on some moodboards I have prepared before. These moodboards are variations of beauty theme I mostly work on, and are clearly distinct in the way they portray the feminine subject, from fully clothed towards mild nudity or plain provocative. I think it is really important that both model and photographer have a good understanding of what the shoot will be about before having your appointment.
3. I do check on the location at least one day before the shoot. Is everything ok, is it available, is it safe, can we heat it, … (I have some alternatives in case something shouldn’t work out
4. I have some boards on Pinterest where I gather some extra images as inspiration for the shoot: I might take a look at them the day before the shoot.
5. I prepare some things for the well-being of my model: A warm blanket, some fruit, a snack, something to drink (no alcohol) might be a hot soup or something similar, or a juice, soda, etc.
6. That’s probably it, for 95% of the shoots.

At the moment of the shoot:
I re-discuss clothing, style, nudity, timing, … at the moment of the shoot. I do not want discussions afterwards about these things, so I always have a contract that clearly states the content of the shoot as well as the rights to the images.
We take a look at the clothing sets the model brought with her. Women are famous for packing an immense amount of clothing into a small case. 😉
I have the model change clothes, whilst I check on the location again. I have some Ideas in my mind from the Pinterest moodboards, and i decide on a location that might suit that idea, together with the clothing we picked out for the first part of the shoot.
I let things happen. I will discuss in a further post about creating natural poses a bit more.
Hope this all makes sense. 😉

Some images with Kim, she never posed before, but I had a hard time believing that. She did wonderful.


all the best, see you soon,


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