To get the most out of every shoot, commercial and editorial photographer Christopher Malcolm says he prepares a detailed written plan for multiple set-ups. The document, which he calls a “pre-shoot,” helps him work as efficiently as possible on location and shoot all the variable he wants to capture.
He lists each of the shots he wants to make, the lighting set-up he wants, and some reference images to show the mood or look he wants. “For most shoots, I’ll tend to walk in with 30 to 40 pages of plans. It’s incredibly specific,” he says. For his personal project called “Warrior Academy,” he wanted to minimize time spent moving lights back and forth. His 100-page pre-shoot plan listed the order in which he would create each shot, and also the variations he would try with each lighting setup. With the document in hand, he says, “if something goes wrong, I have a plan B,” as well as a plan C and a plan D.
School is out. Lots of photography school graduates are probably asking themselves: Now what? How do I get my career as a photographer started? Assisting is one path, but working as a studio manager is a better apprenticeship, according to photographer Christa Renee. “I always tell everyone not to assist. Find a photographer you respect... More ›
To save money, photographers cut all sorts of corners, especially when they’re starting out. Photographer Christa Renee emphasizes the importance of carrying proper insurance from the start. “There have been a couple jobs recently where I would not have even been able to do the job if I didn’t have insurance,” she says. “Two different... More ›
Photographer Tomas van Houtryve was recently reminded that financial security doesn’t just take care of itself, even for the most successful photographers. That reminder came while he was reading a biography of renowned 19th century photographer Edward S. Curtis. “Curtis fell into a trap, which many photographers [do],” van Houtryve explains. “He never put in... More ›