It was quite different shooting with Kat than it was with Stephanie a few weeks ago. For one, we were a bit worried with the weather since it had been raining the past few days, so I prepared for multiple different locations. However, the day favored us and we were really blessed to have a sunny afternoon in San Francisco and so we went to the Music Concourse inside Golden Gate Park. Kat’s bf was running late so we started off with Kat modeling by herself and she was very comfortable goofing around and she seemed to feel free with a diverse amount of poses. As soon as her BF arrived, the mood changed and it was a bit more difficult. I posed the two of them for a few “couple photos” which was also a bit awkward as I rated their personal-space comfortability with one another incorrectly. Later, the bf changed into his cosplay spider-man outfit, which he himself said he felt more comfortable posing in. He hopes to use his spider-man photos for a portfolio in order to get hired for events.
On top of these interesting dynamics, I had my husband assist me with the shoot (which he experience doing for other photographer friends). It was easy to get irritated at my husband when, with any other assistant, I would have probably have been more patient. However, when he decided to sit and chat with his friend instead of use the reflector like I asked, I think I had good reason to get a bit irritated.
Things I learned from this shoot:
- Constantly check your exposure because as the sun moves, light changes.
- Have a back-up plan in case the venue is hosting a special event and is not open for the public, or in case it rains.
- Spend time talking with the model beforehand and get to know her experience in modeling (or learn about the couple’s level of comfort with PDA). My models have little to no experience and this may be their first time even trying to figure out an appropriate outfit for the occasion. I’ve developed a 1 page reference tool for individuals such as these.
- Take breaks. The couple I was shooting wasn’t really into doing “couple photos” but really shined with individual portraits. This caused the photo shoot to run longer than expected. I was thankful to take a break between outfit changes to grab a small snack and drink.
- Take ownership of your photo shoot. Be decisive about where and what you are doing. Since personalities vary so much, it’s important not to let a by-stander, assistant or secondary model take over the photo shoot and compromise the images. YOU, the photographer, are the one looking through the lens, framing the image and adjusting for lighting.
- Be specific with your assistant and say thank-you.