As a Dublin editorial photographer sometimes you’re commissioned to do shoots and others you’ll need to work on your own time and submit ideas to editors in the hopes they get picked, magazines and publications are getting a lot more of their work these days through spontaneous submissions than years ago where most of the work was commissioned. When you’re on commission you usually have a brief or a creative director with you on set ensuring that you deliver their vision. In those cases the photographer is simply an instrument to deliver the vision of an external creative entity. You’re chosen based on your technical prowess not your creative juices let’s say.
There are other times when a photographer self commissions a shoot (this is what I call work for free in the hopes to get paid) and delivers unsolicited content to magazines. This sometimes works great but you need to be in tune with the editors views for a particular issue. Normally is a matter of timing, if you get the timing right and hit the nail on the head you’ve great chances of being chosen and published. In this case it is all about creative juices, being different and standing out from the crowd is the important part here.
But, that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to bring you behind the scenes of a location editorial photo shoot.
First and foremost I’d like to thank the team involved in this shoot.
Model: Clara Ayuso
MUA: Sonia Osiecka (Pria Make-Up)
Assistant: Agnieszka Malik
Clothing & Styling: Konfusion (Temple Bar)
Before heading out for a shoot like this there is a lot of preparation that needs to be done by all the team involved. I normally start by using Pinterest to put up a mood board for all involved to have an idea of the look and feel we’re looking for in a particular shoot. This can be based on the agency’s brief or on ideas by the team. I’m normally open to suggestions by all those involved on the shoot and discussion is open throughout the shoot.
Once the mood is set I normally scout for locations. When doing this is always wise to have different alternatives for different shots as sometimes you get to a location and it isn’t as you had envisioned, there might be people there, the water might be higher up than you thought on the sea or stream and many other factors can change so it is always wise to have somewhat of a backup plan.
Prior to the shoot, we’ve all met at my home studio where Sonia did her make up artistry magic. For this particular shoot since it was a bit of a hippie/vintage mood, the make up was minimalist. Sonia helped out with styling the hair a little and during the shoot we decided to work with some of the flowers I had brought to bring out the colors a little more on Clara’s hair.
When photographing on location I normally carry with me quite a bit of gear. I like to be prepared and have at hand all the tools I might need to achieve my vision for a particular photograph. If you’re interested, please see the gear list used for this photo shoot at the end of the post.
I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of posing in this post as this isn’t to be a tutorial, I’ll just say that when it comes to posing I don’t like to pose if I don’t have to. Most experienced models when you tell them that you’re looking for they know how to pose, they know where to go and what you want from them and I find that a relaxed natural pose looks far better than something that a photographer imposes stiffly to a model. Of course, I make corrections based on my viewfinder. The areas I find I correct more often are the arms and hands of models.
During this photo shoot with Clara, she was incredible, she was up for anything thrown at her and we had great fun. I guess that starting on a pretty cold water stream with pointy rocks sticking into your feet helped as anything that came after that was easy peasy. I like to have fun during my photo shoots, I find that it not only relaxes the models but every member of the team and again it makes for more spontaneous, more real photographs. My aim as a photographer is not only to capture an image but also to record a memory. Something everyone involved can look back to and help them remember the day in a positive way.
All in all it was a great day and a testament to all involved. The feedback from the first shots out was great which is fantastic and you’ll be seeing more of the photos on a future blog post.
For those technically minded… here is the Gear List I’ve used during this shoot:
- Nikon D3 & D800 Camera Bodies
- Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 & Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 Lenses
- Nikkor SB 900
- Manfrotto 055 PRO B Tripod + Light Stands & Sandbags
- Elinchrom Quadra Ranger Power Pack with Action Head
- Elinchrom Portalite Softbox, Reflectors & Light Monopod
- Lee Circular Polarizer & ND Filters
- Polaris SPD100 Light Meter
- My Faithful BlackRapid Sport Shoulder Strap
Here are some of the photos from this photo shoot.