September 25, 2012

Behind the lens ~ Workflow of a portrait shoot

What´s behind a portrait session?

I have been wondering about this for quite some time. Not for you but just for myself. You know. How to get down with all the pictures floating around. How to optimize my work process. If you have been following this Blog  super close you will realize  that I tried to write a similar post a couple of months ago. I took it down. It was not where I wanted it to be. And then, yesterday I read  a post by Mary on $hitty First Drafts. Yeah, you read that right. Now, you see, very often when I need something getting done and we push it away…

 I argue Oh I could not start this project, I haven´t found someone to coop with me yet. Or Ähm, I could not start the new page yet, I´m undecided about the color scheme.

Yes. I do it ALL the time. $hitty First Drafts is an idea to write down a very vague first draft to take the pressure away from getting it right the first time. I friggin´ love this idea! And I´m sorry I put an unfinished post right in your face! I am trying to do better. Promise. 

Here is what I do behind the lens. Here is how I work around a portrait session and I know it´s not perfect. It´s not gold. BUT if just one single person finds this helpful I am mighty happy to share!

If you roll different or have a question shoot away in the comment section!

Thinking the whole process over again I realized there are three parts you can divide a session in. 1. Preparation  2. Shooting 3. Post processing

1.     Prep time with the client. There is contact, answering mails/ phone, talk through questions and brainstorm ideas for the shoot. Place, time of day maybe outfits. Often I also check the sunset calculator for the place chosen. Depending on the kind of session 15-25min.
Prep time equipment. Clean all the lenses, charge batteries, empty memory cards, pack the bags. 15 min.

2.      Warming up time. I really love getting to know new people and I figured it´s way easier to do that in a cafè over a cup of tea or coffee, than with a camera staring at you. I´ve seen it enhance the shooting time soo much if there was some getting to know me/us time beforehand. 20-30 min
The shooting itself. We just go out, goof around and Uh, I love this part :)  90min

3.      After the shoot I upload the files to my laptop and usually start with a quick selection in LightRoom. I pick out the best ones, editing them, clean up a couple of things, add the copyright and other information to the data and put my logo on the pics intended for the use online. 70-90 min
I write Blog posts as you have already seen and I love this part. It gives my clients the chance to look at the pictures and share them before they have them in their mail box. After all is written and pictures are added I do a little media push on Facebook and Twitter.  70 min
To round it all off I send images to the client (online or in mail), write a little note to them and  back up the files. 30min

Now, if you wonder what is he/she  charging for all this money?! This shooting it like what?-one-hour!  I know this thought. I have thought it myself! But now that I have written down all the steps and counted the hours, which add up so much quicker than I thought. We´re down to around five hours. It´s work. It´s art. And we all want the pictures to turn out as best as they can.


Here is to $hitty First Drafts and better second ones!

Have a great Tuesday!

~   Saluti.   ~

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