Over the course of the past 6 years coordinating fashion shoots, I’ve come to learn many many lessons, and I am here to share my top 6 Essential Tips for a Successful Fashion Shoot.
1. Before shooting, make sure to have EVERYTHING prepared.
The next five tips should be checked off, and that is when you know you are ready to go. Give yourself at the very least 2 weeks to find your team and get them prepared so that they ALL understand what is happening and how it’s happening. This is for any team leader: designer, photographer, business owner, makeup artist, etc. “Team leader” is defined by the person that came up with the concept/idea/product for shooting and needs to put together the team to carry out their concept/idea/product.
2. Call Sheet should be DETAILED and include a time schedule.
The basic information that should be included is: Title, Date, Location, Team Members, Phone Numbers, and Time Schedule. From here, you can include images and clear descriptions of what is wanted. Don’t expect that by putting up photos without writing that everyone will understand what you want, or that by just putting together the photoshoot everything will happen like you wanted. You need to be specific without room for error or assumptions, and that leads us to Tip #3.
3. Communication, Communication, Communication.
Clearly explain what you want from each team member and let them know that if they have ANY questions, they should always ask. Make sure that they have looked at the Call Sheet, because otherwise it was a waste of your time and there will be people saying they had no idea you wanted this or that at the shoot. If someone is NOT communicating with you even after you emailed, Facebook messaged them, texted them, and called them, then they are unreliable and you need to drop them. Communication is key so that models know how you want them to act and what to bring to the shoot, photographers know what story you want to tell or style of shooting, you know what film team is going to do and what they need from you, and makeup/hairstylists will have practiced and be ready to create the look you have sent their way.
4. If possible, have an assistant or two.
They will make things SO much easier on everyone. Let’s say the team has a lot of things on location but don’t want to carry them everywhere, one of the assistants can watch over them. They can also run errands like bringing the food/snacks/water you ordered, help with props, video document the event for blogging and youtubing later, and keep track of time to remind everyone to stay on schedule. There are always people that will be glad to gain behind the scenes experience or you can hire full time assistants.
5. Put together a Designer and/or Photoshoot Kit.
This is essential for any designer to have things on hand, like safety pins, double sided tape, bra padding, thread and needles, etc. It can also work great for anyone to have during shoots with things such as: wigs, belts, accessories, first aid needs, even things such as period pads, deodorant, and nail polish. You never know what could happen during a shoot, and you should always be prepared. This will make you look professional and everyone will love you!
6. Have a pre-shoot meeting spot and time for everyone to leave together.
Having people show up at the shoot location can work great, but many times, there will be problems with that. All of a sudden the car isn’t working or something came up. By providing a meeting spot and time, people can carpool and you’ll be sure of having everyone at the shoot.
Let me know if this has helped you in your next shoot or if you think I missed any essential tips. I love hearing from others!