Today, we want to talk about a typical production at the Clothing Photography studio, Actually such a production day starts before the day of the shoot, There are many actions that need to be contemplated and taken before you start your day at the production in a clothing photography studio.
Collaborating With The Brand Stylist At A Clothing Photography Studio Session In LA
A typical photo shoot involves one, two or more models, the hairstylist, makeup artist, one or two assistants, a wardrobe stylist, and perhaps some people from the brand like an art director or brand director who is going to be present at the shoot, plus myself as a photographer who specializes in fashion photography. So, all of these people need to be on board with the production day at the clothing photography studio.
Fashion Photographer David Victory Directing The Crew At A Clothing Photography Studio Session
Communicating with the crew
Just figuring out which day everybody’s available can take a week or two, and that requires production management, which is part of my job as the lead photographer. I have to organize everybody’s schedule along with the studio because the studio is always a rental.
So, we got to make sure that the studios are available, the hours are communicated, the amenities, the parking, and many other details are worked out in advance because some studios have limits on how many people can be in the studio because of the fire department or insurance or just physical space limitations, plus parking, how many parking spaces are available, who’s showing up at what time or where to park.
Checking Test Shots With Model And Stylist At A Clothing Photography Studio In Los Angeles
All of these details need to be organized and communicated, and that’s what I do starting one or two weeks out before we start the production day. Plus, the fact that booking the models often requires casting, meaning that nobody owns the models.
I’ve worked with hundreds of models before, but you always have to check and see who’s available, who’s in town, who wants to shoot that day. So, you cast them for the job, and then it’s up to the photographer, myself, to filter through the candidates and then present all the models who fit the bill as far as age, look, gender, skin tone, height, hair, the brand for them to have the final say. And that usually takes a week just to do that type of casting.
Fashion Photographer David Victory Setting Up Lighting At An LA Clothing Photography Studio
If I have a very good idea who they want, I’ll just submit some models that I know and I will shortlist those models and maybe we can get it done in 3-4 days. And then, I got to prepare a call sheet as part of the production management, put all the details as to who does what, shows up with which, and looks like how I’m talking about the models and all the production staff, what time they arrive and what to bring, what are the hours, where’s the location, who to call in case you get lost, And much more.
Professional Model Wearing A Black Dress For Ecommerce Photography At A Clothing Photography Studio In LA
Some of these models you haven’t worked with, so they may not understand the crew or the brand. These are people you don’t know, and you’re trying to organize them. So, this is hours and hours of work, I’m not kidding, a lot of hours of work trying to manage the production, follow through, and organize everybody to show up at a day in a clothing photography studio.
Behind The Scenes Of Crew Lining Up The Camera And Lighting On The Model At A Clothing Photography Studio In La
Preparing Call Sheets
All of the above information gets on a call sheet and gets circulated, and then I have news for you: you’re not ready for the production yet. Because often, 90% of the time, some or most of the people who receive these call sheets don’t reply and don’t say, “Yes, I got it.” So now you got to go and track them down by text or phone and say, “Hey, did you get the call sheet or the email?” “No, I didn’t see it.” “No, it’s in the spam.” “No, it’s lost.” “No, I don’t know where it is,” stuff like that.
And then somehow, you got to get everybody on board with the call sheet and have them say, “Yes.” And then you’re lucky if everybody says, “Yes,” and some of these people don’t say, “Something came up, and you know I’m booked. I got to be here. I got to do that,” and you know, they cancel on you, basically.
Tall European Model With Fun Green Outfit For Amazon Ecommerce Photography At A Clothing Photography Studio In LA
So you put them on hold for the whole duration and then go try to figure out the schedule of everybody else and prepare the call sheet. But once you circulate the call sheet, you find out that some people can no longer make it. So now I got to go change the call sheet, find those additional replacements, get them on board, do the whole thing for those guys, and get new call sheets out to everybody.
Plus, the fact that the call sheet has to be secured with the deposit. So now, at this point, we are maybe five days away from the production or three days, and everybody who’s said, “Yes, we’re going to come,” we’re going to send them deposits to lock them down.
Because if they get a paying job with higher pay or any pay, let me just cancel on you and not show up. And so it’s time now to coordinate the payments with everybody concerned, which means that as production manager, I got to prepare an Excel sheet with everybody’s list of names and emails, and then more IDs or the phone numbers, and then put down all the amounts that we’ve agreed to, and send that to the brand and hope that ASAP they’re going to make those payments.
This Model Is Posing Colorful Garments On White Background At A Clothing Photography Studio Located In La By David Victory Fashion Photographer Los Angeles
But the brand is busy, the manager is not there, it may hit a weekend, they may wait, and a few days go by, and some of the people on the crew make contact with me and say, “Hey, I didn’t get my deposit,” and now I’m stuck in the middle trying to mend that situation and get those deposits out and call on the brand to do it. So sometimes, this will delay until the night of the shoot, even, and at the last minute, the deposits go out.
But then, it may be too late for some people. They might have booked some other job because they did receive the call sheet, but they didn’t get the deposit. So now they got a paid job somewhere else, and they’re going to say sorry, but the deposit went out to them. So now they have to refund the deposit. You see, the headache never ends. It’s not as easy as you think, organizing all these different people, some of which you haven’t seen before.
David Victory Giving Feedback To The Model At A Clothing Photography Studio Session In Los Angeles
The photographer’s day typically begins early, ensuring all equipment is prepared, tested, and packed. Navigating through traffic, especially in locations like downtown, adds to the logistical considerations. Despite careful planning, unforeseen circumstances can still arise during the shoot. So once that happens, and hair and makeup is done (and usually hair and makeup takes a lot longer), then plan. Usually, at the beginning of the day, I ask how much for hair, and she will say 30-40 minutes, and makeup will say the same thing.
Finalizing The Strobe Lighting On The LA Model At A Clothing Photography Studio Session For Amazon
And then we have an hour go by, and the models are still not ready. If it’s too long, that’s alright. We’ll get both of them ready at the same time if there are three – one is in hair, one is in makeup, and one is waiting.
Low Angle Handheld Manual Focus And Shutter And Aperture Camer Settings Leaves Nothing To Change At A Clothing Photography Studio In LA
So there’s no chance of getting the first shot done as a three-shot. So we can get some two-shots and some singles, but if it’s just e-commerce, normally it’s just front, side, back. And we’re going through a lot of clothing, so the assistants at this point are trying to keep up with the ironing and steaming and prepping everything.
And I have to deal with the lighting because the lighting on the clothing can really differ depending on what type of material and what colors they are. If they’re extremely white or extremely dark, or if they are velvet or if they are shiny sequin, it all makes a huge difference. So I have to plan, you know, for extra time is required for those difficult pieces.
Now, once everything’s good and dandy, and let’s say everybody’s going to show up, my day as the photographer starts very early in the morning or the night before because I got to pull all the equipment, organize it, make sure I test everything, pack it, and charge all the batteries. So that’s the day before. And then everything gets in the SUV, and the day starts early because we’re driving through LA traffic into, let’s say, downtown where 90% of the studios are.
Shooting Ecommerce Clothes For Shopify On Black Background At A Clothing Photography Studio In Los Angeles
If there are no mishaps, I will show up on time, but other people won’t. They’ll get lost, their alarm doesn’t go off. I’ve had that happen. I’ve had models who don’t show up an hour and a half later into the shoot. We call and say, “Where are you?” They finally pick up the phone an hour and a half later and say,
“I have coronavirus. I’m sick, and I’m not going to come.” And they’re speaking just like in a normal voice, which means they missed the alarm clock and they fell asleep or whatever, and they’re not going to show up.
Now, during the shoot, while everything else is going on, I’m rushing to find a replacement model in the studio as hair and makeup is being done on some other models. And this has happened more than once. That’s why I’m talking about it because this is a typical day in a clothing photography studio. There is no perfect day where everything goes perfect, and there are no problems. There’s always something. And only the very experienced photographers know and have done this before.
Behind The Scenes Of Stylig Team And Male Models At A Clothing Photography Studio
Clothing and Styling Preparation
If you’re a new brand and you’re planning to organize shoots, and you think that, we’re just going to go and book his warehouse, and you know, everybody will come, and we’ll have some shots taken,’ you’re mistaken. That’s not how it’s going to turn out.
So now all the models are in hair and makeup. They’re assisting or unpacking the clothing out of the van or out-of-the-box if the brand has shipped the clothing. It’s going to be in a box sometimes, and sometimes that box is supposed to arrive on the day of the shoot, and it hasn’t. I’ve had that happen where everybody shows up, but the box of clothes doesn’t because there’s a snowstorm. DHL is delayed, although they promised that it’s going to be first check, first thing, early morning delivery, but it doesn’t happen. It shows up five in the afternoon, well, too late. Basically, the whole shoot is canceled, and everybody needs to get paid.
The Model Strikes The Perfect Post For This Elegant Black Dress At A Clothing Photography Studio In Los Angeles
It becomes a huge mess. So if ever that happens and the brand or whoever is in charge of delivery promises that they’re going to deliver on the day of the shoot or even the night of the shoot just before the shoot, you got to let them know that if it doesn’t, then everybody’s bill is going to be on them, right? Because I’m the photographer here.
I signed up to be the photographer, and you see, as the production manager too, to create this whole production. I got to be in the middle of everything. And there is nobody else to do this. There’s nobody who knows how to do it.
Even if they did, they would be charging so much that would make the shooting possible because you have another person with the job of production management just like a Hollywood movie. And they would want to get paid for all of these days of work and hours of organizing to be there. So there is no nobody who does that better than the photographer.
And I’m the person that is in charge of the set, and I do that. So let’s say all the clothing is there, it gets pulled out of a van. It’s already been prepped, maybe a day before. I try to get it into a professional dry cleaner so it’s ironed, steamed, and photo-ready.
Photographing The Model Wearing A White Top On White Background Cyc Is Tricky Lighting
Or if it’s coming out of a box, the assistants are busy steaming, ironing, prepping the clothes. And I’m busy setting up the lights and tweaking the camera and getting everything lined up, whatever the shoot might be. Most of the time, it’s e-commerce if you’re in a studio. And we have hair and makeup happening on the models.
Model Release Forms
I have one of the assistants running around, trying to get the models to sign the release forms, and that's a very important step because I’ve had days where I didn’t do that, so I simply forgot because I’m pulling in all the gear, and there are some issues on the set.
There’s people missing or equipment missing or stuff missing, and there’s delays. And so I get sidetracked, and I completely forget about this step of having the models sign the release forms and have that release form witnessed by either another model or my assistant, which is equally important to make it valid.
So what happens is that now we did the shoot, let’s say, and I go and I realize that, there are no model release forms, but that’s what I need to turn in to get paid. So now I have to chase after the models who usually are paid right after the shoot. So they’re off the hook. No, I got to find them and have them sign the release forms for me remotely, which is a pain in the ass because they don’t know what to do with the PDF.
Professional Makeup Artist Working On The Models Face While An Assistant Holds A Wirless Strobe At A Los Angeles Clothing Photography Studio
They don’t have a printer that they can’t print on the PDF, or whatsoever. So now they have to go to Kinko’s to get it done or find somebody who can do this. And you know, sometimes they just get lost, and they don’t want to do it because they think, 'I got paid, and now they can’t use my photos. Great.' I’ve had that happen.
So, very important step: getting the model release forms done beginning of the day before the models, get into hair and makeup because I’ve had models show up on a set, and the guy said, 'Well, I don’t agree with this model release form,' and I said, 'Well, that is the model release form.
There is no way of editing it.' And if there’s something you want to cross out, you said, 'No, there’s so many things I want to cross out.' I said, 'Well, that will just make it void, so I’m not going to shoot with you, and I’m just going to find a replacement. You’re free to leave, and they have a deposit, and now they’re just going to leave with the deposit, and I’m stuck there on the set trying to find a replacement and trying to send this model release form to these models beforehand, create equally additional headaches for everybody.
One, they are not going to read it. They don't want to read this stuff. It’s a lot of gibberish, illegal stuff. They may find something in there that raises a flag for them because they think, 'Oh, wow, now I’m signing this release form. This and that and the other is going to happen down the line, so they may say no, whereas once they show up, and they have a deposit and they're already on the set, they don't care.
For Detail Shots Fashion Photographer David Victory Shoots Handheld At A Clothing Photography Studio Ecommerce Session In LA
They just sign it, and we get away with it. And these release forms are extremely important because years later, I’ve had a model get married, change her last name, and go on the internet sending notices to Google requesting that all of her pictures be taken down and all of the links be removed from Google search because those photos are illegally being used.
Alright, so it’s not just my photo of her but other photos of her taken by other photographers, so this shows up in a long list. And now I have to go and fight this model after four years, and I’ve had like three sessions with her. Pull these release forms from years ago, find them, scan them, send them to Google, create a whole list of explanations as to what’s going on, show all the behind-the-scenes photos of me shooting her to show that this is all legit, and show all the pictures with watermark, not just the printed pictures or published pictures, but every other picture that’s in the camera roll with the original camera dates so Google can tell that I’m the one telling the truth.
And then 15 days later, these URLs are going to get freed, and they're not blocked anymore, and my SEO keeps climbing back up, and those pictures are now showing up again. So all of this goes back to that step of handing the release forms out and saying, 'Hey, you got to sign this.'
Shooting The Model Wearing White Mens Suit At An La Clothing Photography Studio
Breaks and Lunch
And there comes a time in the middle of the shoot where you have to take breaks because now it's time for lunch. So lunch needs to be planned into the clothing photography studio session because what you don't want is for the crew and the models to start venturing out looking for a taco or a pizza or a hamburger because that will take a long time, everybody will go somewhere else, you'll never know when they're going to come back, and nobody's going to be happy. Plus, on the set, if there's no coffee in the morning to start with, everybody is going to be grungy and not up to speed.
So usually I have food brought in two ways: either I have an assistant go shopping at, let's say, Trader Joe's the day before, and they text everybody in the crew and say, "What do you want from Trader Joe's?" And this assistant will buy everything and bring it. Or we just have a menu from the studio, and we order, and some restaurant nearby is going to deliver the food.
Male Model Martial Arts Kick During Photography Wearing Athletic Brand Clothes At An LA Clothing Photography Studio
Again, the assistant is going to take care of that step. But you never want to get into a situation where you're still busy shooting that you wait until somebody says, "I'm really hungry. I'm faint, I can't work anymore. Where's the food?" And when they say that, it's already too late because it will take an hour or more before you see any food delivered to you so then it becomes panic time.
So water, drinks, coffee, and some snacks must be there on the set at the beginning of the day to keep everybody happy. It just needs to be part of the budget, and that's not something you can't skimp on. So if everything goes according to plan, and let's say we're shooting 50 skews, and we're down to maybe 20 skews for the afternoon.
Taking breaks and planning lunchtime is essential to maintain productivity and keep the team satisfied. Providing meals on set prevents delays and ensures everyone remains focused on the production. This chapter emphasizes the significance of catering arrangements during the shoot.
Testing Brands Clothes On This La Model At A Clothing Photography Studio
Clothing Photoshoot in Studio
After lunch, we come back, and we're busy shooting. And then, usually, hair and makeup, they're free to leave after they do the last look. They prepare the last model's hair or makeup, and then they're free to leave if that's how long we've booked them for.
So, on an eight-hour shoot day, hair and makeup maybe leave at the 6th hour or the 7th hour because once they're done with the last look and if there are no other touch-ups needed, that's how long we've planned and booked them for. We don't want them to go into overtime.
So, you know, we have them leave. On some shoots, it's important to have them stand by because hair is going to be fluffed and pushed and moved around, and makeup may get smudged. So we need them to be there to do touch-ups and makeup.
And clothing doesn't really mix well. A lot of times, the models are in a rush putting their clothes on, and they're going to smudge their clothes. So we have two things to consider.
One, we have to fix it in post. Two, if it was pulled by a wardrobe stylist, they can't return it. Let's say they pulled it from some branch store. Now they can't return it, and whoever is in charge of the shoot, the payments and all that, they own it.
If makeup gets on the clothes, let's say we were shooting shoes, we can't shoot shoes with naked models. So we have to pull some clothes by a wardrobe stylist, and that's what happens. The one in charge of the shoe brand now owns a bunch of clothing that has been smudged by makeup.
So, at this point, if I'm shooting with portable lighting equipment, at lunch, I changed all the batteries because the units are going to get slow and lazy, and some of them may even go to sleep. Or if I'm shooting too fast, some of these strobes stop working because they overheat, and that's a bad thing. But that's the life of a fashion photographer who's going from studio to studio.
And there's no one perfect studio for the job. I don't have time to learn and tweak and adjust and use and rent and pay for the lighting equipment that's at every studio I go to because every studio has a different set of lights and equipment. And I can never count on that. But I know exactly how to adjust and tweak and use the portable lights that I take with me.
Several Test Shots Guarantee Garmnet Color Accuracy At A Clothing Photography Studio In LA
These strobes have been working fine for years. Although what happens during a shoot or every other shoot, it seems like one of these units, these strobe lights, speed lights we call them, may fall, and it's going to get damaged. Sometimes they just slip out of their hot shoes on the umbrellas and they fall, crash, bang, and some part of it may stop working.
Some of them are just attached again with zip ties, and they keep popping. And I'm still using some of these that look like they've been through battles, but they're expensive, so we want to use them until they can't fire.
Quick Photo Shoot At A Small La Clothing Photography Studio To Save The Clients Budget
Shoot Till You Drop
In the afternoon, hopefully, we've shot everything, and it's time to shoot some extra shots if we have some extra time left, which is a good sign. We get some two shots and three shots and additional artistic shots in the camera before we run out of time with the models.
And once the models are out of time that means it's a wrap. And that better happen about an hour before we run out of time for the studio. Whatever clothing photography studio I've booked, I plan and book at least two hours more than what is required for the shoot. Meaning that if it's an 8-hour day, I book the studio for 10 hours because I need an hour and a half to load in and tweak and set up and adjust before I can take the first shot.
And I need at least 45 minutes to load out of there with everybody else. So you see, the day's not done until you have everything back in the car. And we want to leave the studio in a tidy shape so it's not too messy because we want to be on good terms with the studio owners.
And they might let us in another day. And that is a typical day in an inclusive photography studio in Los Angeles when I'm working. And you just got the rundown of the two weeks it takes to plan and execute such a day. And now the post-production begins. So it's not the end of the show yet. There’s a lot of work to be done in post-production, but that's for another article and another story.
Rack Of Clothing And Studio Lighting Plus Professional Camera Getting Setup At A Clothing Photography Studio In Los Angeles
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