logo
RSS Twitter YouTube

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.

STRAIGHTEN UP

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).

CHECK BATTERIES

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.

CLEAN LENSES

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

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

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:

Updates

    2015.06.18

  • 2015.06.18

    Canon EOS Rebel T5i Review

    Canon EOS Rebel T5i Review

    Entry-level DSLR. 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. 5 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video. Single control-dial and 95% crop 0.85X magnification viewfinder in a comfortable and light-weight body.

  • 2015.06.10

  • 2015.06.10

    Nikon 1 J5 Review

    Nikon 1 J5 Review

    The 1 J5 introduces a new 20 megapixels 1" high-speed CMOS sensor in a compact body with dual control-dials, a traditional mode-dial and a tilting 3" touchscreen LCD. Continuous drive up to 60 FPS at full-resolution, 4K Ultra-HD video capture and a 105-point on-sensor Phase-Detect AF system.

  • 2015.06.01

  • 2015.06.01

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

    The new E-M5 brings 40 megapixels Super-Resolution capture to Micro Four-Thirds while improving 5-axis image-stabilization and showing off a new 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF with Eye-Start Sensor. Native 16 MP drive @ 10 FPS and full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS.

  • 2015.05.21

  • 2015.05.21

    Fuji XQ2 Review

    Fuji XQ2 Review

    Ultra-Compact Fuji premium camera. 12 MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. Ultra-Bright F/1.8 wide-angle 4X optical-zoom. Dual control-dials, 3" LCD and built-in WiFi.

  • 2015.04.28

  • 2015.04.28

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review

    Unique premium compact with 12 MP effective multi-aspect resolution and ultra-wide ultra-bright 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 lens. 11 FPS Drive and 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS. Plenty of direct controls plus a built-in 2.8 MP EVF with Eye-Start sensor, a 3" LCD and WiFi.

  • 2015.04.16

  • 2015.04.16

    Nikon D7200 Review

    Nikon D7200 Review

    New Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR with a revised 24 MP CMOS sensor without anti-alias filter. 6 FPS with deep buffer and 1080p @ 60 FPS video capture. Dual control-dials, 100% coverage viewfinder and WiFi in a weather-sealed body.

  • 2015.03.12

  • 2015.03.12

    Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide - 2015 Edition

    Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide - 2015 Edition

    Our detailed mirrorless digital camera buying guide, fully updated for 2015. This is the best and more current mirrorless guide!

  • 2015.03.02

  • 2015.03.02

    Nikon D5500 Review

    Nikon D5500 Review

    Compact entry-level DSLR with a 24 MP APS-C sensor without anti-alias filter. 5 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video at 60 FPS. A 3.2" 1 MP rotating touchscreen LCD plus built-in WiFi.

  • 2015.02.23

  • 2015.02.23

    Canon Powershot G7 X Review

    Canon Powershot G7 X Review

    Premium compact with a large 20 MP 1" CMOS sensor. Stabilized ultra-bright ultra-wide-angle 4.2X optical zoom lens. ISO 125-12800, 1/2000s-250s shutter-speed, 6.5 FPS and full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS. Dual-controls dials and a tilting 3" LCD.

  • 2015.02.16

  • 2015.02.16

    Fuji X100T Review

    Fuji X100T Review

    The latest classically-styled fixed lens camera from Fuji packs a 16 MP sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF and a bright F/2 fixed 23mm lens. It offers a unique hybrid EVF/OVF with Digital Range Finder in a highly mechanical design.