I am always asked about how do I put together a shoot for a magazine?
The first thing is to get a meeting with the Art Director about the subject that you are about to shoot. In this case it’s a shoot with a Los Angeles starlet Angela Taylor she had just done a movie and her agent wanted to get her some promotion. Angela was very interested in a shoot with the magazine I was working with in Australia as it was also a good paying gig. They were paying editorial rates better than Vogue!
I had a meeting with the Art Director about what sort of images he would like and we also talked about my budget for the shoot, that is always a great place to start so that you can think about your options for a location and other things such as makeup & hair, wardrobe plus assistants.
Once you have this set-in place (Contract) you can then go about booking your shoot and contacting the Model/Actor. I called Angela Taylor to see if she was going to want to use her makeup person or be OK with my choice as I have people I like to use because I know what sort of looks, they can give me on my projects.
I also called to book a location which was going to be this house off a list of rent-able houses in Los Angeles. If you do not have a big budget you might need to call in a favor from a friend that is OK with you using their place for your shoot. Sometimes people are willing to let you use their place just because it’s you or your talent, and they like to brag to their friends as it makes for a great story!
When talking with your talent you do need to let them know if there is any nudity as you should not just spring that sort of thing on them on the day of the shoot, it’s just not cool. So, you need to make it very clear as to what you would like to shoot and what the clothing will be and how much skin will be showing or not! If it’s going to be a sexy body shoot!
Angela had already shot with Playboy® magazine so she was OK with some nudity which was required in this layout. Make sure that you know how far you can go boys and girls as there is a big difference from nudity and pornography.
The house that I was shooting at was very modern in its look so I needed to have the clothes look modern and clean, no fancy looking dresses or tacky jeans with holes in them. Don’t forget that just because there is some nudity you will need some clothes as you need to tell a story of seduction.
Once all the things and people were booked and the date set you are then going to prep the day before with all your lighting equipment and camera gear. I had been to the location and looked to see what sort of lighting I would need and at that location there are lot of large windows for some nice daylight which I could mix with my strobe light. I could also use the outside patio for some of the images I wanted to shoot which I would use flash fill. Inside the house was some very cool leather furniture & this nice big table which looked fantastic for Angela to pose on. Make sure that you clear that sort of thing with the owner about having your talent posing on the table as you do not want to make marks on any of the furniture include that in your location contract.
Which is something (site release) I have to use when shooting on location, most magazines need you to have one as they or you do not what to be sued for location damage.
On the subject of working with your talent that is up to you to make your subject feel comfortable and sexy during your shoot say nice things and make sure you take brakes with some drinks (None Alcoholic) and munchies
Talk about makeup and hair before and what you have (Talent) discussed about the look you will be going for before they started. One last thing let the makeup and hair person do their thing with you not getting in the way it’s a nice time for the makeup person to let your talent get settled in and a conversation will help make things more friendly on set that is why I like to use someone I have worked with many times before who knows how I like to see hair and makeup plus what’s it like to shoot with me! When all is said and done you should have a great shoot with noting to distract you from your creativity
Go out there get your gig and get published!