Shooting Active Lifestyle Imagery with Models and Athletes

February 10, 2014  •  1 Comment

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If you are a commercial photographer you will more than likely work with models or athletes (otherwise known as the talent) at some point in your career. It can be stressful if you've never worked with them before; everyone's going to be looking at you to direct the show. It can be stressful. The most important thing is to relax and be confident that you are the one for the job. Here are a few tips that will not only keep you in the game, but will also keep your talent coming back:


1. Communicate everything. You'll want to make sure your talent knows exactly what they're getting into. If you know you will be hiking 3 miles into your location for a shoot, don't keep it a secret. Your talent is going to want to know what to expect and how to prepare. Ask yourself these questions: How long will the shoot last? Where will the shoot take place? How long do you expect the talent to be standing? Will you provide food? What should the talent wear? Then communicate this to your talent.

2. Make the talent as comfortable as possible. I don't mean to pamper them, but think about what they will be doing. If it's going to be cold, bring extra jackets and cold gear. If possible, bring hot chocolate. If they will be running, bring sports drinks. Do everything you can to keep your talent as repeat talent. You want them to pick up the phone the next time you call.

3. Bring extra clothing. The right clothing can make or break a photo shoot. Sometimes the client will provide clothing, but it depends on the client and the shoot. If you want to keep everything in control, bring some extra clothing along. Your talent won't always know you want a bright red jacket for the shots, and they most likely don't own one. This is something to keep in mind the next time you're shopping for outerwear. 

4. Don't be afraid to direct the talent. That's what you're there for. You are the director. Actually act it out, throw a snowball to where you want them to turn, or carry walkie talkies. Be patient. Directing can be the hardest part, but once it all falls into place you'll be golden. 

5. Have fun and relax. If you're stressed, your talent will be stressed. Let loose and have a little fun. It's photography after all. It's supposed to be fun.


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You don't always need a client to implement these practices. Shooting for stock gives you the chance to practice without the pressures of a client, plus you'll have a nice library of stock images and loads of experience.



Seriously, I'm so inspired. I have no experience with professional photography, but I feel so motivated by your counsel right now!
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