Jul 6, 2010

Photographing People - It's Not That Hard!

Last week I went along to a photo shoot with Natalie of Miss Dish. We were both asked by young photographers Kohii to allow the use our product for a photo shoot.

I'd seen Kohii's work on Facebook and really liked their style (that's how they found me too), so I agreed. I went along to the shoot because I thought I might learn a thing or two, which I did. Before this I found the idea of photographing my jewellery on real people completely daunting, but not any more!

Things I learnt (about photographing people/models outdoors):

1. Lighting - An overcast day is best. I knew this before, but it really sunk in during the shoot. There were no unflattering shadows, and the models (and products) were evenly lit as a result. You can't always predict the weather, so early morning or afternoon are best. Avoid the middle part of the day, and the resulting harsh light.

2. Location - There are endless possibilities for outdoor locations.  It is important to pick one that fits your style and  product or service.  A children's playground (perhaps early morning when children are unlikely to be there), a park, a garden, or even a car wreckers (like our photo shoot location)! There are lots of great locations, that will be free to use, all it takes is a little imagination, and sometimes asking permission.

3. Take lots of photos - Take many more photos that you think you will need.  Try some several different angles too. Digital photography allows for this. You don't want to spend all that time and effort to find out that you 'nearly got it', when you look at your photographs afterwards.

4. Models - For this photo shoot experienced models were used. Of course you may want to hire some, otherwise friends and family are often more than willing to help.   

5. Planning - You'll get a far better result on the day if you have planned ahead. Do some research before hand on your location, and through websites and magazines for good photography, for example. That also means trying on outfits beforehand with accessories and make-up, not just on the day.

6. Cross promotion - Why not get together with other businesses and do some cross promotion? You may make wonderful clothes, but you know someone (perhaps another Bizness Babe) who makes great bags that would be a terrific match, and would really enhance your product and photographs. Maybe then you can both use the photographs on websites, blogs and for magazine submissions, giving credit to each of you. That will increase your overall chance of exposure.

Cameras are something I haven't mentioned (both Natalie and Kohii used quality SLRs) , because at the end of the day good equipment will help, but what is most important is good ideas. A good camera won't help you with that.

Of course this may all seem too hard, or you'd  rather hire a photographer to do it for you. Perhaps you do need more professional shots. I do have a few thought about hiring a photographer (also learn't on the day), but I'll leave that for another blog post.

If you have any other thoughts, or tips please add them in the comments section below. I know I for one,  have a lot more to learn!

photo above, by Natalie Mayerhofer, photo set up by Kohii

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