Actress/Model · Beauty · Fashion

Planning a Shoot

So I get asked frequently how do I manage working, being a mum, actress, and model. Surprise, I don’t! I wing my way through it all. But if I had to put my finger on it then i would have to put it all down to my family. My wonderful husband who has done nothing but support me through all my adventures, my loving Son who is just perfect and an angel when he sometimes comes with me on set.

There is no secret to time management, planning, and support from family and friends. With years of experience built up behind me, you quickly learn the ropes about how to plan, organize and manage photoshoots including everyone you need on board to carry it out.

So here is some tips for you to help you out!

1.Make a mood Board

This is very common with Pinterest  available to quickly and easily search over millions of photos to build up the perfect mood board for any kind of photoshoot you want to do. First thing first, make a mood board. Have the idea you have in mind clearly laid out, this will include your makeup, hair style, outfit, location, etc. This will mean that when it comes to searching for a team you will have some photos to give them an idea of whats expected.

2. Source a Location

Now some people do this after they build a team together, but depending what you are lining up and the theme then you might want to source some locations prior. Taking photos always helps, or google is perfect if you find you don’t have the find to go scouting.  There are some groups on facebook that are specifically for shooting locations, so if you ever get stuck you can put a shout out on there!

3. Building the Team up

Get on your facebook pages, put the call out and start filtering through all the interest you will get. Because you will get a lot! People understand that you have the options there so you will go through and pick the people you think work best for the desired outcome. Everyone has different styles and experience so you shouldn’t have an issue finding someone to fit. Don’t feel bad for picking people you have worked with if you are comfortable with them and liked the outcome you got.

4. Start a group chat

Start talking, sharing mood boards, and getting everyone on board. You will need to find a date that works for everyone and a time the suits for the shoots theme. Dusk, dawn, bright midday light or studio shooting. Share the mood board with the team, maybe giving the MUA (makeup artist) some idea on makeup but still some freedom, the hairdresser an idea on the style and if a change is needed during the shoot. This is when the work starts.

5. Pre-Shoot Prep

Day is finally here. But what about the work to do just before shooting starts? Shaving, clean hair, moisturizing your body and making sure your face is glowing before makeup is started. So where to start? Firstly, check with the hairdresser on how she wants your hair? I normally wash my hair the night before, I also do a full body exfoliation, shave and then once i am out of the shower I finish up with a full body moisturizer. The morning of the shoot I smother my face in a hydrating mask for 20-30 mins before washing it off and doing my normal morning skincare routine. This leaves my skin glowing and ready for the shoot.

6. Day of the shoot

All the work getting to this point is what the work is for. I cant tell you the times I wonder if i even want to do it, but then it MUA arrives and the hair dresser, and while i sit there, getting my hair pulled and styled, my face brushed with beauty, squeezing my butt into my granny underpants and into what ever amazing outfit that the shoot requires. Sometimes it fun, sometimes you are tired (especially when you are up at 4/5 am) but mostly its fun. Getting to location, setting up the shoot (if you have too) posing, outfit changes, hair changes, posing, adventuring, its lots of fun. But not always. Depending on your location it can be exhausting and you get tired, and its hard to move in your outfit, so ensure you have a goodies bag. Snacks, nuts, lollies, and mostly water! Bring easy shoes to slip in and out of so you don’t hike in heels.

Seems like a lot of effort right? It is sometimes. But if you got a great team, your research is done, and shooting is complete, its worth it when you get the final results. But hey, even if the photos aren’t what you expected, its a learning curve, you build up experience and knowledge for the next shoot you have in mind. On the other hand, I have done some amazing short notice shoots with friends which have turned out fantastically so who says you have to go through all that effort? Sometimes it works just as well to keep it simple and fun. But you need to choose which suits you and works best for you!

For me, sometimes what works best for me is a homely shoot at home, with or without my son. Or a family session in the woods where we can be ourselves, laughing and joking around. I have been modeling now for 8 years and it took a long time to get where I am and the skills I have, so don’s worry if you don’t get it right the first time.

Try and try again.

And always if you want any more tips or help, just let me know!

– Samantha


Image by – Byron Carr Photographer

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