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Professional Level Photoshoot: How It Works

Have you been part of a professional level photoshoot? It’s not about producing pretty pictures but pictures that sell…find out what it means and how it works.

A professional level photoshoot means that the produced work of art, the picture(s), is meeting certain quality standards while conveying a message or idea – the shoot concept – that sparks viewer engagement.

Overall, a professional level photoshoot consists of 3 phases:

  1. Pre-production phase
  2. Production phase
  3. Post-production phase
Professional Level Photoshoots: How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

Professional Level Photoshoots: How It Works

Professional Level Photoshoots: How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

When you take a look at the Professional Level Photoshoot Production Phases please understand that a lot of preparation is going on prior to the photoshoot (pre-production phase) and costs/expenses are incurred whether the photoshoot is “paid” or “unpaid”.

The overall goal is to have a smooth photoshoot in a great creative atmosphere so pictures of great artistic quality can be produced.

In order to achieve this goal it is paramount that everybody participating in the photoshoot (e.g. photographer, model, hair & makeup, wardrobe, etc.) is doing their job in a professional manner, which also means adhering to the mood boards because the team was “hired” to produce a specific outcome! Otherwise what’s the point of creating mood boards during the shoot concept development stage?

How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

Therefore, shoot participants may not only be liable when they show explicit “unprofessional behavior” (e.g. being sick (contagious), arriving late to photoshoot, last minute hair style change without prior notice, or not being well prepared) but they also need to follow mood boards if they want to get paid and/or, even better, rehired.

Please understand that professionals take their work seriously, and hence only want to work with like-minded individuals in a professional environment. It is expected that one can understand & respect that point of view and share the artistic process & attention to detail.

Professional Level Photoshoots: What to Expect

How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

Prior to the photoshoot, the pre-production phase, you will have received information about the photoshoot, including “mood boards” clearly reflecting what kind of pictures are going to be produced.

Please review the mood boards thoroughly…for example, if you are the model:

  • Can you do the poses?
  • Can you convey the mood?
  • Are you ok with nudity or implied nudity?
  • Do you feel comfortable smoking or doing shots where smoke is involved?
Professional Level Photoshoots: How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

If you are hair & makeup or wardrobe:

  • Can you do all the looks?
  • Do you have all the necessary products & tools available?

Once the mood boards / instructions have been reviewed and there are no concerns, it is expected that you will be able to do the work accordingly and you will be hold accountable.

Again, adherence to mood boards is very important in order to achieve the desired outcome / looks / shots – otherwise everybody is wasting their time.

Should you have any concerns it is best to voice them over the phone or via video chat ahead of time – do NOT simply text / whatsapp / messenger or email them since messages can be overlooked. Don’t worry, things can be discussed and a mutually beneficial solution can be found.

by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

You will also receive the official “call sheet” with all the information of the photoshoot, such as:

  • shoot / prep location
  • photoshoot participants
  • your call time
  • Instructions (e.g. what to bring with you)

This is usually sent out 12 – 48 hours prior to the photoshoot.

Professional Level Photoshoots: Production Phase

Professional Level Photoshoots: How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

During the day of the photoshoot you are either working in-studio for 4 – 8 hours or outdoors with a photoshoot team of 5-8 individuals. You are going to have a fun atmosphere with music and food & beverages for all shoot participants.

The photographer and/or the creative director will direct the model for instance with regards to posing and the team members when creating the looks.

You MAY take pictures & videos during the photoshoot to promote yourself BUT NEVER OF THE FINISHED LOOK…you MAY take a closeup picture or video to show your work…e.g. hair style, makeup application or part of the wardrobe but always ask the photographer and creative director first!

If you are allowed to publish anything related to the photoshoot then you should credit/tag the photographer and brands.

IMPORTANT:

by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

You will either be working with sponsors, who provide photoshoot necessities (hair, makeup, wardrobe, jewelry, etc.), or you have to purchase them yourself. Either way, they need to be treated by all photoshoot participants with extreme care – damaged or lost items may have to be replaced by the individual responsible.

The same applies to the photo studio location and its content.

You may “damage” an item by smearing makeup or hair products on it or burn them with hair styling tools (e.g. hot curling iron). Therefore, handle all items with extreme care during wardrobe changes & makeup applications & hair styling.

by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

ALSO, DO NOT REMOVE ANY PRICE TAGS…IF YOU DO SO ITEMS MAY NOT BE RETURNED AND YOU WILL BE LIABLE TO PAY THE WARDROBE STYLIST FOR THE NON-RETURNABLE ITEM(S).

Please bring/wear proper PPE as per official local guidelines.

Professional Level Photoshoots: Post-Production Phase

Professional Level Photoshoots: How It Works by Phil Halfmann
by Phil Halfmann | www.PhilHalfmann.com | all rights reserved

Once the photoshoot is over your work is done, unless you are the photographer of course. For the photographer on the other hand, the post-production phase just started by reviewing all the pictures, making a selection and then retouching the selected pictures meeting their quality standards. Once that process is finished the photographer is going to send over the pictures.

Credits:⠀

Written by Phil Halfmann
Photographer: Phil Halfmann⠀⠀
Creative Director: Sophia Lenore⠀⠀
Lead Wardrobe Stylist: Sophia Lenore
Lead Hair & Makeup: Sophia Lenore⠀⠀
Hair & Makeup: Taina Norell
Hair & Makeup Assistant: Kathy Esquivel
Model: Gaelle Augustin
Jewelry by KONPLOTT
Hair by INDIQUE HAIR
Music “Triumph” by Yung Logos

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