Why Teamwork is key on any shoot

Why Teamwork is key on any shoot
Posted on Thursday 4th of May 2017
Written by 1 comments • Read 2225 times • 5 minute read

There are a few obvious attributes which affect the level of success to come out of a photo shoot. Aspects such as: booking the right model/photographer for the brief… having an idea of how the image will be styled/lit if you’re going for something very specific… selecting a suitable location/venue to give you the desired results… having the relevant stylists on board to sculpt a particular look...

However, one of the biggest, yet most basic factors that has a big impact on positive shoot yield is teamwork. In any case; when a photo shoot involves either 2 or more people to work together, the best results are going to occur when the members of the team are on the same wavelength and make efforts visually/creatively to get with the shoot concept. This could just mean each member appreciating where the shot is going and doing the best they can of “their bit” to make the image happen, or it could be a case of getting involved by suggesting and sharing ideas for a more active role in aiding the shaping of the image.

It's important to be aware that every single time you shoot with a different person: you are going to "click" differently. This isn't necessarily linked to a creatives ability to do their job, it's just basic human nature because no personality is exactly the same: model photography is an extremely intimate, one on one job/hobby/activity and unlike other examples of employment/activities where (e.g.) an employer can give an employee a list of jobs for them to take care of and then leave them to it... model photography involves working on a far more interactive level and the people involved on a shoot are like the gears in a mechanism that work/turn in conjunction with each other to get the desired/goal effect. On a commercial shoot, the brief is often set and each party will tend to focus on their job with lesser creative leeway than on a shoot set up for pure imaginative/artistic enjoyment… in the instance of a "shoot for fun" or artistic purposes; it could involve a collaboration/image payment agreement or other times some members of the team may be receiving payment in cash for their work depending on the shoot terms as arranged.
It's often (rightly) stipulated that in a case when cash is received by a creative as payment then they are being hired to complete work and they will bear in mind the brief/aims of the person whom is hiring them when working. That said, it shouldn't necessarily be assumed that the creative receiving such payment should be strictly "voiding" their participation of ideas and should “keep schtum” sticking to their job (pulling poses, doing the makeup or taking the photographs). Of course going back to my point earlier in the article: no photo shoot will be the same and this is where pre-shoot communications come in so valuable. But, it goes without saying that there is definite positivity to be taken out of the sharing of ideas, even on a paid assignment (similar to as would be done on a collaboration) when the time seems right and working together towards that killer end result. Take the example of a photographer who has been hired by a third-party client to photograph a model for some specific/commercial images: the client will have an idea of what they want the final image to look like... hence booking the capable creatives to produce it. But a client isn't always aware of the technicalities behind getting a specific shot and this is where the photographer may take the opportunity to suggest options to the client which may be more effective/less complicated and so forth. Likewise, there may be a makeup artist on the same job - they have been provided with a set of instructions for how the client wants the look to be portrayed and the makeup artist can then suggest the various styling avenues to go down in order to achieve that look based on seeing the model in the flesh etc. The same principles of working in that team come into play with a non-commercial photo shoot... at the end of the day, everyone should be there for the same reason: to get the best result they possibly can, hence if you are mid-set during a non-commercial photo shoot/shooting for fun and in the midst of trying off-the-wall/spur of the moment concepts then there is nothing at all wrong with sharing ideas, making suggestions and encouraging teamwork because every single person, no matter model/photographer or makeup artist, has a different eye and by inputting in this way when the moment allows, nobody is going to lose anything but you may well gain. If the shoot has a set schedule/set of plans laid out beforehand then you may find that you don’t need to do much in the way of conjuring up ideas but it can be quite often the case that a set is nailed quicker than anticipated with more time left than expected. This can be a perfect opportunity to bounce off each other and make fruitful use of your different skillsets.

The teamwork theory particularly comes into play when one of the team members involved in a shoot may be relatively new to the whole thing: when a photographer is starting up their new hobby and wants to hire an experienced model to get a variety of shots into their portfolio then it takes a lot of pressure off that photographer if the model is positively happy to help with suggesting different styles and ideas that she knows work for her body and looks. It doesn’t always need to be that a hobbyist photographer must present a minute by minute plan of every idea down to the last nose hair, and many experienced/professional freelance models will confirm that a good proportion of their shoots with amateurs/shoots for fun can often have no plan at all and that the inspiration will come when looking through the models suitcase/throwing ideas around. Likewise: if a new model is collaborating with or hiring an experienced photographer to shoot and provide some specific images then the model could pick up on some very useful pointers if the photographer suggests ideas mid-set because they spotted some potential.

Don’t be afraid of working together :) we all want to be proud of the final result.

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