Portraiture and Pre-Production

For the clothing and industries of advertising, pre-production meeting or pre-shoot meetings have become provided. Clients pay between six to seven figures for images or a series of photos. Therefore, a photoshoot in these fields is never completed without a pre-production session. There’s just too much at risk to hold one. The meeting is attended by all people involved in the process of creating images, including creative directors and art fashion stylists, designers, stylists for wardrobes, lighting technicians and photographers, among others. This ensures that the shoot is successful, or at minimum, reduces the chance that the shoot will be unsuccessful or failing.

What makes you, as a portrait photographer, contemplate arranging a portrait shoot without requiring – which could seem like a strong term, for instance, to be clear to potential clients that it is crucial to provide a “prepared?” It is essential that your portrait session delivers the goods right the first time around. Inability to deliver this can result in a disappointed client. We all are aware of the negative impact negative feedback can have on your brand’s reputation.

There are three elements of a portrait session pre-production.

1. What kind of portrait does the client desire to achieve?

In the event that you are shooting a broad range of portrait styles, you must determine which type of portrait the client wants to focus on. Review your portfolio of portraits with the client until there’s no doubt in your mind about the type of portrait the client wants. Note down the reference image in the event that there’s a dispute in the future.

2. What character traits and viewpoints do you, as a photographer, seek to get?

Reviewing your portfolio with your client is the chance to experience and get to know more about the model you are considering for yourself. You can look for traits of personality and quirks while discussing the photoshoot. You can try to gain a bit of a sense of the person’s personality. If you are able, try to do some research – or at the very least, Google the person prior to meeting in order to assist you in asking the appropriate questions to start a conversation.

Technically, use this as a chance to analyze the facial contour, identify the eye that is larger, and determine the side on which hair is divided, then design the most flattering lighting arrangement and the angle you will be capturing the face in.

3. What to avoid wearing.

Be as professional as you can, and you must guide the client in terms of what they should wear to the photo session. The final outcome is the portrait. It’s your responsibility and is entirely yours. To achieve the best results, take charge of the wardrobe of your client.

Family Portraits: Select an appropriate mood colour for your shoot. Choose warm or cool for everyone in the group. Dress everyone in the same shades. Be sure to stay clear of patterns as they can create confusion in the picture, as well as the additional issue of Moire for photographers who are using medium size digitally. Do not mix cool and warm shades or light and dark tones.

Short Sleeves: Except if shooting a “beefcake” or “glamour” fashion image, you must always use long sleeves for both men and women. In the best case, bare arms can distract the subject. Women, except for those who are slim and fit, should wear a sleeve over their arms informal portraiture.

Necklines. My opinion on necklines is more significant the length of the neckline, and the less skin exposed, the better for the average customer. My personal favourite is an extremely neckline that is a high Vee Neck for models who has a broader face. A neckline that is a high Tee or Turtle for a model with a thinner face.

Bright Colors: Generally, bright colours can be distracting. Portraiture on serious notepaper is about the appearance of the subject. It’s not about their clothes. Whatever clothing I wear, I’d like that it “fall out” to the back of my mind and not shout at me. Prints, patterns and bright colours can be challenging to achieve this look.