Preparing For a Model-Shoot
Preparing For a Model-Shoot
By Micheal Charles
No matter what type of shoot you're planning, it's always a good idea to have a pre-shoot checklist. Over time, a simple list will save you a great deal of time and effort. Since most of my photography includes working with models, my pre-shoot checklist includes some things that wouldn't be necessary for a photographer who isn't working with models.
It's important to leave enough time between going over the checklist and the start time of the shoot. By giving yourself enough time, most problems that the list identifies can be solved before the shoot. What follows are some actions that I typically include on my pre-shoot checklist:
CONFIRM WITH THE MODEL
If you have any question in your mind regarding the reliability of the model, this is the time to take care of it. By this time, you will already have discussed the basics of the shoot with her and given her directions to the location. Still, it is often a good idea to give her a call on the day of the shoot to make sure everything is still on as planned. Fortunately, I can say that most models (whether professional or amateur) are responsible and will arrive within five minutes of the scheduled time.
I like to give my models a very clean environment where they can do their hair, makeup, and work with their wardrobe. It's a fairly simple thing to do, and I guarantee that the models will notice it. Over the years, many models have told me that very few photographers take the time to do this, and how much they appreciate the photographers who do.
GET THE PAPERWORK IN ORDER
Getting the necessary paperwork taken care of at every shoot is of prime importance. Without a signed model release and two forms of ID from the model (at least one of them being a photo ID), you won't be able to sell your work. To make sure everything gets done, it's a good idea to put the paperwork in a spot where it can't be missed (along with a reminder note to make copies of the IDs).
Most of the equipment you'll use during a typical shoot will require batteries. All rechargeable batteries should be fully charged when you begin the shoot. In addition, I highly recommend that you have a fully charged spare battery for your camera. Other pieces of equipment - such as light meters, remote controls and sync systems also require batteries.
CHECK CAMERA SETTINGS
Make sure that your camera settings are appropriate for the specific shoot you're preparing for. A few things you'll want to check are white balance settings, ISO settings, and proper file format and size (JPEG, Raw, etc.). At this point, you should also check your memory cards to confirm you have enough memory for the upcoming shoot.
Modern lenses possess amazing optics and are capable of producing images with extreme sharpness and clarity. However, no matter how well they are designed, you are still responsible for keeping the outer glass clean and dust-free. If there are smudges, fingerprints, or dust particles present on the exposed glass at the time of an exposure, all the technology in the world won't be able to correct it. To give you the best chance of capturing the sharpest images possible, it's a good idea to clean your lenses before each shoot.
TEST LIGHTING EQUIPMENT
An hour or two before the scheduled shoot is a good time to check that the lighting equipment you plan to use is working correctly. You'll want to do this well before the shoot so you'll have enough time to fix anything that isn't working properly. Lighting equipment can be very temperamental and delicate. Often, what may initially seem to be a major problem can be fixed simply by tinkering a bit with the cords or the connections. This is also a good time to check that all sync and remote systems are working correctly.
ARRANGE THE FIRST SET
It will save you a great deal of time if you prepare as much as possible for the first set of images before your model arrives. This includes arranging the set and setting up the lighting layout for that particular set.
About The Author
Michael Charles is a professional photographer based in Los Angeles. For over a decade, Michael has been shooting exclusively in the world of nude, erotic, and adult-oriented photography. His work has been featured in hundreds of national and international publications and appears on a wide variety of prominent websites.
From his years spent photographing the world's most beautiful women, Michael has acquired a definitive knowledge regarding what it takes to succeed within the field of erotic photography. For more information, visit Money Shot Books
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
Olympus Stylus 1 Review
Premium compact with bright F/2.8 constant aperture stabilized 10.7X wide-angle optical zoom lens. Full manual-controls with dual control-dials, plus a huge 1.15X EVF with 1.4 MP and an Eye-Start sensor. 3-Stop ND-Filter and WiFi built-in.
Canon Rebel SL1 Review
The smallest DSLR yet packs a 18 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with hybrid Phase-Detect and Contrast-Detect AF. Captures images at 4 FPS and 1080p HD video.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2014 Review
The lightest 14" ultra-book features a high-resolution 2560x1440 QHD non-glare display in a carbon-fiber body with illuminated and spill-proof keyboard. WiFi, WiDi, 4G and Gigabit Ethernet all in one sleek design.
Nikon D4s Review
All-new Nikon flagship professional DSLR with a 16 MP sensor capable for ISO 50-409,600, 11 FPS continuous drive for 200 JPEG or 78 RAW, full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS with clean HDMI out, Time-Lapse Video, Interval Timer. Built-in HTTP and FTP servers, plus Gigabit Ethernet and more.
Nikon D3300 Review
The newest entry-level Nikon DSLR features a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias filter. 5 FPS Drive, full 1080p HD and 11-point Phase-Detect AF in a simple and compact body.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review
16 MP Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless without anti-alias filter. Built-in 5-Axis stabilization and 37-point Phase-Detect AF. 10 FPS drive plus full 1080p HD. Freezeproof body with dual control-dials, a 2.4 MP EVF and 3" tilting touchscreen LCD.
Exclusive Fuji Finepix S1 Review
Weather-proof ultra-zoom with 50X optical zoom stabilized along 5 axis. 16 megapixels sensor delivers 10 FPS drive and full 1080p @ 60 FPS video. 3" rotating 920K pixels LCD and 0.2" 920K EVF plus plenty of controls.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Review
World-smallest camera with built-in EVF. Full and direct photographic controls including dual control-dial in a compact body. Packs a 12 MP high-speed CMOS sensor capable of 10 FPS drive and a bright F/2 wide-angle 7X stabilized optical zoom lens.
Fuji X-T1 Review
Weather-sealed and freezeproof mirrorless with 16 MP APS-C Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR II processor. 2.4 MP EVF with 100% coverage and huge 0.77X magnification. Dual control-dials plus a high number of direct controls. 8 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video.
Nikon Df Review
The first retro-style DSLR, featuring a 16 MP full-frame (FX) sensor with incredible ISO 50 to 204,800 range, 5.6 FPS continuous drive with 39-point AF system, a 100% coverage OVF, a high number of mechanical dials plus dual control-dials in a weather-sealed body.