6 Tips to Art Directing A Photo Shoot
Those amazing photos you see in your favorite magazines and catalogs make it look so effortless. But every art director knows, behind the scenes there’s a lot of hard work put in to each image. How do you take pictures that amaze your clients and consumers? Here’s a list of six key things to do to create an amazing outcome:
- Have a vision.
“I see myself as a director,” says Pum Lefebure, co-founder and chief creative officer, Design Army. “Like Steven Spielberg, I have to know who to cast. I need to know the right location to tell the story. The copywriting has to merge. We have to edit thousands and thousands of photos and work with a re-toucher.”
On the day of the shoot she makes sure the model looks its best.
- Earn client buy-in.
“The creative is always better,” says Christina Hagopian, creative director and studio owner, Hagopian Ink. “They’re not surprised. We’ve discussed every detail down to the hair and make-up and every accessory.”
For this collaborative process, she prefers to share visuals, from sketches to inspiration photos with the client. These show different makeup and hair looks. Then she brings all the final picks together in a photography brief. Basically, it’s a highly visual creative brief that outlines the entire shoot.
- Plan, plan and plan again.
“You might spend one or two days at the shoot, but the planning might take weeks,” Lefebure says. “When we go in, we already know we’re going to shoot this girl in front of this tree. We know what shirt and makeup she’ll be wearing.”
At Design Army shoot, the firm sketches out the concept for each and every shot. Often, they’ll take a scouting photo ahead of the final shoot day, too. This allows them to check out the best lighting. On the day of the shoot, all the advanced planning means the team might capture twice as many shots.
- Expect the unexpected.
Hagopian recently art directed a two-day e-commerce shoot for a new product line. “The second day of the shoot, the hairstylist from the first day got food poisoning,” she says. “We had to get a new person really fast.”
Luckily, she had a photography brief and visuals to quickly and clearly communicate the vision for the shoot to the new hairstylist.
- Choose photographers wisely.
“I only use photographers who listen to me,” Lefebure says. “Because there’s only one vision. The photographer needs to be behind us 100%.”
She’s been on shoots with talented photographers who were following their own visions, and shooting for their portfolios instead of editorial. The latter requires leaving space for text and shooting in a vertical format.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Of course, you’ll be hiring folks like photographers, stylists and make-up artists. But don’t shy away from asking for advice from colleagues or even bringing in a consultant.
Hagopian has a lot of experience with still shoots, but she’s new to fashion photography. So she hired a consultant to help with everything from booking models to helping out on shoot day.
Hagopian Ink created a checklist for each and every image to help this fashion shoot go smoothly.
To read the original article press here: 6 Tips to Art Directing Your Best Photo Shoot