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:
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Review
Highly compact mirrorless with 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor capable of 4K Ultra-HD video. Fast 10 FPS drive and 1/16000s-60s hybrid shutter. 4K Output for 30 FPS bursts, Post Focus and built-in Focus Stacking.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review
Olympus professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless with 20 MP sensor, built-in 5-axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect and Contrast Detect AF, 60 FPS Drive, 18 FPS with Continuous AF, Ultra-HD and Cinema 4K Video. Large built-in 2.4 MP 0.45" EVF with 100% Coverage, 0.74X magnification and Eye-Start Sensor in a freezeproof and weatherproof body with dual control-dials.
Fujifilm GFX-50S In-Depth Review
In-depth review of the Fujifilm GFX-50S Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera, a groundbreaking 50 megapixels camera with large 44x33mm sensor and unique modular EVF system. ISO 50-102400 range, 3 FPS drive and 1080p video.
Fujinon GFX Lens Roundup
Roundup of reviews for GFX Medium Format Mirrorless lenses: Fujinon GF 23mm F/4R LM WR, GF 32-64mm F/4R LM WR and GF 110mm F/2R LM WR.
Nikon D500 Review
Full-review of the ultimate Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR. The Nikon D500 offers a new 20 MP CMOS sensor with incredible ISO 50-1638400, 10 FPS, 4K Ultra-HD and a 153-Point Phase-Detect AF system sensitive to -4 EV. Built for professionals into a weatherproof body with dual control-dials and large 100% coverage viewfinder with built-in shutter.
DxO ViewPoint 3 Review
Review of DxO ViewPoint 3. Perspective, distortion and horizon correction software.
Nikon D5 XQD Review
Nikon flagship professional DSLR with 20 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor. All-new 153-point Phase-Detect AF sensitive to -4 EV. ISO 50 to unprecedented 3,276,800! 12 FPS Drive for 200 JPEGs or 180 RAW. First Nikon DSLR with 4K Ultra HD video.
Olympus Professional Lens Roundup
Roundup of Olympus Professional and Premium lenses: M.Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 12mm F/2, M.Zuiko 60mm F/2.8 Macro.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review
Olympus second generation base OM-D with an anti-alias-filter-free 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor mounted on a 5-axis in-body stabilization system. Speedy 8.5 FPS drive, full HD @ 60 FPS and a wealth of features in a compact and lightweight body. Offers a 2.4 MP 0.45" EVF with 0.62X magnification and 100% coverage, plus dual control-dials and a highly customizable interface.
Fuji X-Pro2 Review
Fuji flagship XF-mount mirrorless with 24 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor. 273-Point AF with 169 Phase-Detect points. 8 FPS Drive, 1080p video. Dual control-dials, direct dials and a hybrid viewfinder in a weather-sealed freezeproof body.