Disclaimer: I'm not a professional; these are my opinions and my opinions only and based on my own experiences in model photography.
Why it’s a good idea to have Pre-Production in Freelance Model Photography? (as a model photographer)
In my experience when I started out doing model photography I didn’t have pre-production at all, but as I did experience my first few photoshoots with strangers that’s when I had an experience with one model being “too shy.” A new model being shy is totally understandable, but it will cause the results of the photoshoot to dramatically come out low quality instead of high quality, and how I figured out on how to resolve this issue to never or make it less likely to happen again is to have a pre-production meeting with first calibration.
Why? You may still be asking… because everyone has stranger anxiety which is totally normal, but to have this during a photoshoot it will affect the results from the photoshoot. So, I would have a pre-production meeting in person to at least remove this feeling totally or have all parties feel more comfortable during the production/photoshoot. When you have all parties comfortable during shooting the results should come out great or at least to the best of the abilities that all parties can, and as to parties being uncomfortable the ability to create results to the best possibilities will be less likely.
If it’s not possible or parties cannot afford to travel for a 30min meeting, I do recommend a virtual meeting on webcam (i.e. skype). Which I have yet to start doing myself but I’m experimenting this area for future pre-productions to see if this removes stranger anxiety while not meeting in person before a photoshoot.
In simple terms here are my reasons as to why I do this are the following:
- To “weed out” the not so serious models from contracting me or wasting my valuable time with. I am more likely to get more serious models if I require them to meet me in person for a pre-production meeting.
- To remove all or some stranger anxiety, as this will increase the quality level of the end results.
- To ensure my (photographer’s) level of efficient and productivity levels are high.
Now I recommend all other model photographers who don’t want to waste time, and keep efficacy and productivity levels high to do this for TF model photoshoots.
Okay if you're interested in doing a pre-production, how would you do it?
This is how I do it...
Write up some concepts from simple to complex, but if you're still new and in portfolio building stages start with simple concepts like most of my concepts on the site. Keep them on your site or in a word document print them out take them with you to the meeting with your model(s). Have them look over them and work together on which concepts would work for a photoshoot together. I do recommend having as many and diverse options in concepts as you possibly can think of. Make sure to keep nude/implied concepts are separate because many models who don't do that get offended when they see it, so keep it for models you know who does nude or possibility implieds.
I also have a somewhat specific wardrobe guideline to the concepts that is sent to the model via email and kept private. I keep it private because I see it having value and don’t want others to use my ability as an amateur wardrobe stylist. (even though I don’t see myself in a career as a wardrobe stylist but I really don’t want people just copy/pasting my wardrobe selections without paying me) As if you saw my wardrobe guideline it’s basically very modern fashion styles.
Bring along to the meeting the following:
- Concept & Wardrobe Guideline
- TF Agreement and Model Release(s)
- Production Survey (this is for individuals who want to see if they want to measure their abilities and improve on them based on surveys, this also can be used for referrals as you can see [here] )
Like this article? Want more model photographer tips? Check out related blog posts [HERE!]
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