Picking up from where we left off, coordinating a large shoot is a challenge. It’s also quite a rush!
Not only making sure that everything is where it needs to be – getting assistants and lighting in the right place, but also making sure those up next are ready to go, has the set up been done? chatting with the bike owners to keep them involved, talking with the girls, keeping the mood up-beat and having fun! There are plenty of decisions and trouble shooting-on-the-fly to be done – all the while keeping a handle on your photographic technique and keeping the creativity and variety in the shots. There’s a danger of falling into that production line mentality – when you’re under pressure, falling back on what works!!
Does this require talking? YES!!! – lots of it! Communication, scratch that, GOOD communication is the only way to save sanity, lol. Some of my proudest shots of this shoot come from Nicky. The first time I met her was the morning of the shoot. She was brought along by a friend, Fiona (another of the girls (who I’d worked with before) and is fast becoming something of a muse!). My first impression was that Nicky is a knockout! If the thick tresses and honey smooth skin didn’t do it – the shy, million watt smile did… that first hint you get of someone when they start talking.
Appearance is a consideration, sure, but far and away the most important thing I look for in meeting a new subject is personality! Confidence and that willingness to give the shoot a go, embrace the moment if you will, are SO important. Regardless of experience. I raise experience, because Nicky quietly told me that she hadn’t been part of a photoshoot yet. Ever. She’d done some promo work, but no shoots. Straight up that means I need to find out where she’s at… does she know what we’re doing for the day? where we’ll be? how it might go? what she needs to have ready? Covering the small (often overlooked) details and just talking, smiling, having a little fun starts to build an impression of what I’m all about. It builds trust. And no trust, no shoot.
For this reason, I’m hugely proud of Nicky’s shots – I’m proud of her and that she had the confidence in herself to come along and take that first step, embracing the day. I’m proud of me for the work and communication that made such stunning images possible with someone not used to being in front of the lens.
See what I mean….