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Homework before the shoot. Fashion photography London.
Today I’d like to walk you through my preparations process before a fashion shoot.
I chose this particular one for couple of reasons. It had some extra factors that you normally wouldn’t consider and it makes rather cool story.
So let’s start from the beginning.
I stumbled upon this location while shooting different job near by. I liked it so I came back the next day for a closer look. I took some iPhone reference photos.
I love the geotagging function. It let’s me easily find where exactly this photo was taken.
You’d be amazed how many old photos of really cool locations I have but can no longer remember where they were taken.
Fast forward couple of months and I got an assignment to shoot this beautiful dress for one of my clients. The dress was made from very fine fabric. It felt weightless and somewhat romantic. So we decided to focus on those qualities. We wanted to produce picture that would feel like sort of modern fairytale.
We’ve agreed on the concept.
I have shown pictures of the location to my client and they were very enthusiastic about the whole thing. What they didn’t know that our “perfect location” for best part of the day is submerged good couple of meters below the River Thames surface. I’ve checked the tides time table for our shoot date an it looked like we’d be able to shoot for around two hours.
Next step was the lighting. Whenever I shoot outdoors, I always check the sun’s position and direction so I know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
There is great iPhone app for it called Sun Seeker
Sun Seeker app screenshot.
Turns out that although the beach will be available for two hours, the sun sets one our earlier leaving us only one hour to shoot. So there was no time for mistakes and experiments I had it planned all to last bit.
On the shoot day we have arrived on location about an hour earlier. Needless to say that when my client saw deep, filthy water instead romantic beach she started to panic! We have used the spare time for some finishing touches on hair and make up. Although it was rather dull and cloudy day within that hour beautiful golden, setting sun broke through creating most amazing light we could hope for.
Beautiful sunset light (straight from the camera)
The shoot went great. We had our image and were really happy with the result.
After the sun has set we have manage to take last couple of shots with beautiful and soft dusk light that I have later converted to black&white to complement the mood.
So here it is, if it wasn’t for careful research and planning to the smallest detail this shoot could quickly turn to a total disaster. My advice, always do your homework.
BHS photo taken by my lovely assistant Jen.