by Ajani, Photographer/Designer
You have your heart set on a unique Avant-garde look, but the photographer changes his mind at the last minute and wants something more understated. Or maybe the makeup artist (MUA) is examining your work a little too closely while making snide remarks under her breath. Don't lose focus. Not every shoot will be a home run, and truthfully, some may seem down right disastrous. All that you can do is be prepared and know that your tools reach beyond the confines of your kit. Photographer Ajani Truth sheds some light on how to make your next shoot your best shoot.
Successful photoshoots are all about teamwork. Since a typical shoot consists of a model, photographer, MUA, hairstylist, wardrobe stylists and possibly several assistants, it's sometimes impossible to get along with everyone. The key is having the right attitude to begin with. Be positive. Be helpful, while giving space. In other words, don't micro-manage. Its annoying. Don't loose your cool if someone is being a diva. Remember, you are there to do make-up, hair or styling, and your role is vital, so be professional. Tip: Its not a bad idea to find out about the team in advance-especially with a test shoot.
Establish the theme early
Work with the photographer or stylist to pinpoint the theme early. Keep your book in mind and what type of looks you want to display your talents and versatility.. If the shoot is commercial but you need more beauty or editorial then you may be planning for the wrong shoot. Also, knowing the theme will keep things flowing while decreasing the chance of unwelcomed surprises.
Be willing to adapt
Be aware that things change often in creative environments. Be willing to adapt. Don't get so stuck on one idea or one way of doing things. Part of your job is to be as prepared as possible. Resistance to change often hinders creativity.
Learn to take control
Everyone is building their portfolio-the photographer, model, stylist, etc. So build yours, and arrange your own test shoot. Pick the model, and photographer that you want to work with. Don't always be at the mercy of someone else. For instance, some MUAs help with fashion shoots and request close-ups of the model's face. Please understand that close-up shots are NOT beauty shots. Beauty shots are lit to highlight the artist's work. When you plan a shoot, you can center it around your vision.
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