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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Location, Location, Location!

This is for my models shooting outdoors. I've already made a post about doing poses when shooting outside but I wanted to share some more information about why location is so important and what to expect when scouting locations for your next shoot.

Aside from being able to play off of objects and your surroundings, a good location can establish the perfect theme for a model and photographer. Modeling has become quite an adventure for me when it comes to finding places to shoot with the photographers I work with.

Sometimes they will already have a few locations in mind or they'll want to completely go on the fly and find places to shoot the day of. This isn't really a bad thing at all. Sometimes the best photos come from spontaneous shoots in locations you would never have thought of before.

So if you're new to the modeling game and you're driving around with the photographer (or following him/her in your own car) and you seem to be doing nothing but aimlessly driving around instead of shooting, don't take that as a sign of them not knowing what they're doing...it's all a part of the process! :)

Here are some examples of shoots I've been on where being on location wasn't so simple and came with some risks:

Our photographer got inspired and decided to have us climb the top of this tanker, which was so high up in the air, I was scared I was going to fall off! Note the 4-inch heels...definitely not a cakewalk!

This is the shoot where a security guard approached us and told us that if we weren't gone by the time he came back around in 10 minutes, there would be legal consequences.

If you already have a location picked out, then great. But the real fun comes when you and the photographer are driving around. If you are going to be in this situation, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

1) Don't pick the prettiest places to shoot: The photo should be of you. It usually isn't a good idea to choose a busy location that takes away from you in the picture. You should be able to stand out easily. Never let the background take away from your place in the photo, unless there is a specific look you and the photographer are going for.

2) The ugliest places can look amazing in a photo: Alleys, warehouses, places littered with some trash, fences, all of these come across beautifully when photographed the right way with a model. Be open-minded if your photographer picks a place that is less than glamorous to pose in.

3) Be prepared to walk: Not all of the places you'll shoot at outdoors are going to be easy to get to. Outdoor shoots can involve locations where you'll basically be hiking up hills, through dust, sand and other debris. Wearing heels may not be the best during these times so if you know you'll be footing it to a location, throw on some durable sneakers. Don't worry about how you'll look...you only need to look pretty in the photos, not getting to the location!

4) Scout locations carefully: When driving around, keep in mind the colors you're wearing and how it will photograph. Avoid choosing a location where you'll blend into the background or that will match the outfit you have on in terms of color or pattern. Shooting photos where there is shade will eliminate harsh shadows so don't pick a building or background that is out in the sun...this makes for the most difficult lighting.

5) You may be breaking the law: Seriously! There have been too many times when the photographer and I have shot at locations that were private property (railroads, train stations, the back of businesses, on someone's farmland). I don't condone breaking these laws, but if you have the perfect location that you just have to shoot at, get in and get out as fast as you can.

I've been approached by a security guard during a shoot who didn't write us a ticket or arrest us but he made it clear that if we were caught there again, there would be legal consequences so always be mindful of where you're shooting.

6) When shooting in front of someone's house, always ask permission beforehand: It's better that they know ahead of time and even if they say "no", that's better than shooting on their property on the sly and then getting caught. If they're not home, then it's fair game in my opinion. Just make these kinds of decisions wisely.

7) If possible, don't shoot in public places: Sometimes it can be fun to be the center of attention while out on a shoot but people tend to be very distracting and think it's fun to make a spectacle of themselves during your shoot. If you have to shoot somewhere where there are people present (shopping mall, restaurant, neighborhood, etc.), plan your poses ahead of time and execute them as fast as you can.

Never linger because then you'll never get people to leave you alone. It's not easy to pose when people are asking you what you're posing for, are bugging the photographer to ask where they can get copies and so forth.

Once a photographer and I just had to shoot in front of this brick wall that was on a busy street. So many people drove by whistling and making comments that the photographer quickly hustled me out of sight (and I wasn't wearing anything skimpy--just a cute pair of black shorts and a green tank top!).

1 comment:

pinup_girl said...

These pictures are of YOU? Oh my, you are gorgeous. Truly. You're going to make it big, HUGE!