Inside Look - Model Shoots Outdoors

On my second day in a row on a photo shoot,  I had to give an inside perspective of how we end up with some pretty magnificent work, and what it takes to get the job done. 

A fly in the eye, and mosquito on the forehead - smack goes my hand on the models face. It was me trying to kindly relieve my model of another annoying bite while posing in my outdoor concept photo shoot. He put up with a lot. 

For example - laying his head on a (comfortable) rock to get it in the perfect position. Or positioning his body over some roots the photographer and I found to give the concept some interest, or the most fun laying next to potential poison ivy. I have to say, modeling does not take a PhD, but it does take patience and an iron will not to scratch an itch under any circumstance, so the makeup doesn't get ruined. 

As the stylist I appreciate these things from a model as much as I appreciate the final images. 

Now for anyone wanting to set up there own photo shoot here are the basics of what is needed to accomplish an outdoor location shoot, BEFORE the actual day of the shoot. 

1. Have a great concept- Pre plan the concept for the shoot. Know what colors, background, clothing are appropriate and fit the concept.

2. Book your photographer - Reach out to photographers, and get one with a few dates available to coordinate and book the model/s. Have a contract ready with expectations of payment, what kind of media will be received after the images have been edited. Be very clear about these details. Don't get stuck negotiating this on the day of. 

3. Book the model - Make sure the model understands the concept, fits the archetype, and has dates available that coincide with the photographer. Again, be sure there is clear communication about payment, and expectations. Some new models will trade for portfolio images, but most will expect payment. Also ensure they know if there is any pre-prep like shaving, waxing, or no hair cutting. 

4. Scout/book your location - some locations require special permission to shoot, permits, or a fee. Be sure you have this all taken care of before the day of, to avoid any issues. Also know where you will be prepping the model will take place before hand and what tools are needed to accomplish prep - a directors chair? bug spray? canopy for shade? 

5. Gather any shoot props, clothing, accessories you will need for the shoot. 

6. Coordinate and make your timeline for everyone involved. Giving yourself plenty of time to style the model, change locations, or wardrobe. The minimum you will need is 4-6 hours. 

With all this in place the shoot itself should be a success. The final results will depend on the skill of the stylist and photographer. These kinds of shoots take me to beautiful places and allow me to look at a location in a completely different way, so no matter what the creativity and experience of an outdoor shoot is something I love. 


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