If you are building a career as a professional photographer, among the essential investments to make is your portfolio. It must display your skills and range as a creative, so people will think that you are the perfect person for their photography needs.
Building an impressive portfolio will not only demand your artistry, but it also requires a lot of time and money. Before you get hired, potential clients would want to see what you are capable of. The easiest way to prove yourself is by showing them a collection of your best work.
As a newcomer in the business, your best work would have to come from your personal efforts first. This generally means that the photos will not come from paid gigs. You have to orchestrate your own photography opportunities and pay for everything, which is the norm for all startups.
Taking beautiful photos for your portfolio is easy enough, primarily if you have studied and trained to hone your craft. Complications, however, arise in organising a photo shoot. There are different components involved to ensure a smooth and professional process. To aid you with your first portfolio photoshoot, rounded up below are the seven elements to stay on top of.
Before diving into anything for the photoshoot, it's imperative to decide on the concepts you want to work with in order to show your artistic range and skills. Likewise, once you have identified them, it will become so much easier for you to gather the materials you need to convey these concepts clearly.
You need to choose a location or venue for the photoshoot that will support the concepts you're working with. For example, if you're working with a bridal or wedding concept, a local church and a beautiful garden are two of the best locations for the shoot.
Now, if you have more artistic themes and you want to easily manipulate the physical setting, a photo studio hire, Melbourne photo directors say is the best option. You can customise the studio according to your artistic vision. Another advantage to this photoshoot venue is you do not have to worry about uncontrollable elements, such as the weather.
For the photo shoot, you need a collection of props based on your themes, lighting, additional equipment, and fans if you want a windblown effect.
Many of these pieces of equipment will be provided for you by a photo studio rental. The best photo studios already have most of the things you need for a professional photoshoot - everything from fans to lights, reflector boards, a few backdrops, different types of tripods, and others.
For the most organised photoshoot, you need to build a support system. These are people who can take care of other photoshoot essentials that you cannot. These people include:
Assistants - perhaps one to three people that will hold your other cameras and be ready to give the right one you need for particular shots, as well as hold the reflector boards and fans.
Props people - these are people who will help set up and adjust the background according to your instructions.
Professional makeup artist and stylist - this person will be in charge of the different looks for the model
Errand runner - this is a person whose job is to ensure everybody's convenience during the shoot by taking care of the tasks that you and the other members of the crew cannot.
As expected, you need a muse. Find someone who's experienced and not just a pretty face, unless you do not mind spending a lot of time to direct and educate.
But, if you want the best flow for the photoshoot, it's best to work with a model or even an actress who already knows what to do and can easily take directions from you. Look into talent agencies in your area. Or, visit a theatre school or company and inquire if anyone would want to model for you. It's not unlikely that you'll find talents who'd be willing to take part in your project in exchange for several professional headshots.
For a concept photoshoot, you will need a wardrobe of costumes. You can rent these from local costume shops. But you may want to purchase some for your own collection, especially if you intend to have your photo studio later on.
Photoshoots can last an entire day, be ready with food for your crew and model. This will keep everybody's energy and spirits up. You have the option to hire a catering service. However, if there aren't too many people involved and you are working with a conservative budget, you can just purchase snacks and fast food like pizza, burgers, and pasta.
There you have it, the fundamental components that you should prepare for your portfolio photoshoot. You may only need to add a few more details, but once you have all of these covered, you may have already set a date for the activity.
Adam Jacobs is the owner of Windsor Photo Studios in Melbourne, Australia and Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the country's longest operating modelling, talent and casing agency for babies, children and teens. Adam is a creative digital marketer focused on growing companies' online presence and performance using both tried and true as well as cutting-edge growth marketing and growth hacking tactics.