Diversity in Front and Behind The Camera

Diversity in Photography
Diversity in Fashion

Live Art Love is a diverse company. It’s important when you start a company to set out to create an environment that caters to all. This will help shape the work you do and give you the confidence to speak for those that don’t have voices. The media shapes a lot of how you view yourself.

When creating a fashion campaign, we'll have an idea on a specific look. That's considered, “high fashion, beautiful or editorial.” Close your eyes and think of it right now. I’m sure a lot of fashion models, billboards and campaigns came to mind. Use those as ideas but don’t see them as the only way to shoot. You must think outside of the box to create change.

At Live Art Love, we do every casting to include all ethnicities. We don’t have a set race or look when it comes to shooting. We only know, we need a model to fit the role. It’s more fun to go into a shoot without thinking, “this model must be (insert race) with this color hair and this weight.”

When it comes to diversity in all entertainment fields, we have a long way to go. We know we're not the only ones looking to create change. Here are some tips on making diversity in front and behind the camera a priority.

Diversity in fashion shoots
Diverse Models

CASTING

Throw away that carbon copy image in your head. The same commercial campaign that we’ve seen. If you have some creative control, which depends on the client. Put that casting up to include all ethnicities. Lower your strictness on height and weight. See what faces pop up and who you can work with to still create the vision you want. By seeing other faces in the casting process you’ll become more open to fresh ideas.

Diverse modeling lighting tips
Photography tips lighting

INSPIRATION

Always have your inspiration - mood boards, Pinterest, magazine clippings. Whatever you need to get fun ideas. Yet, see if you can do those ideas more diverse. If you can add people of all races somehow. I’m not saying to include one token race person to fill a quota. But to look at the photo from another set of eyes. You’re going to have to use your imagination. Since the industry has been one way for so long that it is hard to find examples that tick all the diverse boxes.

Behind the Scenes diverse fashion shoot

BEHIND THE SCENES

Even noticing that there is something off about your campaign or it’s noninclusive is a start. It’s time to look at your team. Is it diverse? Could you do better at have a team that represents the work you’re doing? Everywhere that you can show representation. Matters. You won’t notice the impact it has on your work. But it’ll be there. It will make your work shine and provide inspiration for those younger growing up.

Diversity in front and behind the camera
diversity in front and behind the camera

Those are our tips for creating diversity in front and behind the camera. Representation matters, every little step helps to make a bigger impact later down the line. Try to do your part to include a wider demographic when you shoot your next campaign, film or commercial. 

What are some tips you have for making sure you represent everyone?

Thanks for reading!

LIVE ART LOVE TEAM

How To: Cheap High Fashion Shoots

Live Art Love Fashion Shoot
Live Art Love Fashion Shoot

Shooting High Budget Looks Cheap

Unless you are a photographer, there is a good chance that you don’t understand the cost associated with photoshoots. This is the case for most clients. There’s the clients that want to pretend they don’t know the cost. Then there are the clients that legitimately don’t know. Now, if you’re an accessories or start up. You usually don’t have a lot of money set aside for photoshoots and marketing.

That’s where we come in. It’s our job to take a budget for a start up or smaller company and still achieve a high quality look. In a lot of cases, even with small budgets the client is expecting high fashion photography. We talked before about having a great team. Now we’re going to discuss some tips on getting a high quality set design and styling on a budget. People often ask “how do you afford studio, styling and wardrobe on a low budget?” Here are some tips on how we make it happen!

Live Art Love Home Studio

STUDIO

It’s rare that you will find the budgets that fit large studio rentals with limitless hours. In fact, in Los Angeles there are some wonderful hidden gems for studios. One of our favorites is FD Studios. It’s affordable and offers a variety of studios, set design and rooftops. However, because a lot of photographers know about this hidden gem, it can be a pain to book last minute. Even with their affordable packages - you’ll still work with clients that don't want to foot the bill. That’s okay! You have to think creatively.

Recently we decided to turn part of our home into an in-house studio. We only put up equipment when we need it. If you don’t live in a house but have an apartment or small studio. See what space can be used for a “photography.” You’re not trying to shoot the cover of Vanity Fair with 20 models. You’re trying to have a back up when clients can’t afford to rent studios and have simpler needs.  With that being said, if a client has a low budget they should have a simple vision.

For this recent shoot. We had a clear vision of what we wanted and created the space to achieve it. Knowing we'd be able to stretch the background in post. This saved us money because the "studio" was built by us. Thank goodness for Home Depot and friends helping over a bottle of wine!

Live Art Love Fashion Styling

STYLING

When I’m talking about styling. I’m talking about fashion and set design. Do you need to have people on set that do both? No. It would help, but ultimately no, you don’t need them. Having a stylist is ideal but budgets don’t always allow for that. If you research ahead of time, you can do great styling on your own. 

When working with models you’ll be amazed at what they already have in terms of wardrobe. It’s a great idea to put together style guides that help the models pull wardrobe they already own. Then ask them to send photos of wearing 2-3 outfits before the shoot. This helps get a sense of what you’re shooting and decide any additional accessories or pieces you might need for the shoot.

For this shoot we lucked up because one of the model's friend wanted to style her for free. This worked out great because her friend gained experience and we had extra help.

Set design is about thinking creatively. You can grab textured boards, wallpaper tapestries etc. and do wonders. Again, it’s about that elbow grease. But if you schedule out your time you’ll have a few days before the shoot to create the backdrop that your client will like. When working with small budgets see what you can use around your house or even your friends places. I find that plants, textured blankets, crates etc can help a photo look more polished.

Live Art Love Wardrobe

WARDROBE AND PROPS

Unless you’re working with a fashion company, you will need to figure out how to tackle wardrobe and props. I find that working with low budget fashion shoots it’s always good to have some neutral shoes in common sizes. You can find sneakers and heels that look high end at H&M, Forever 21 and Zara. In fact use places like these for accessories and shoes. You can also find a lot of great pieces at thrift stores, consignment and estate sales. When searching I like to keep an eye out for props and accessories that can be used on a number of shoots. If you have your references, you’ll know what you’re looking for and what fits in your budget. No matter what the budget is, set a small percentage aside to cover wardrobe and props. This will help you later. Don’t assume you won’t need anything. You’re going to have to buy an accent or two to make your shoot work. You’ll be happy you did!

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Live Art Love home studio

Those are just a few ways to get a high quality look on a small budget. If you see yourself doing photography for awhile. Put the time into building your studio, styling and wardrobe closets.

What are some tips you have for getting a high quality look for cheap?

Thanks for reading!

LIVE ART LOVE TEAM

Creative Collaboration: Low Budget Photoshoots

Model Live Art Love
Live Art Love Model

When you’re coming together to ignite a creative idea, it’s always good to have support. Having a great team can make an ok idea into an amazing idea. Starting out with clients, you’ll have a small team. Trust me, you won’t have time to have all the bells and whistles. Having a small team can have it’s benefits. Which usually stem from everyone having input about the vision coming to life. If you have the right team, everyone will end the project with a piece that they’re proud to display. I work with a lot of clients that have a small budget but want high end results. Doing this for a few years, I’ve found ways to save money and still get the desired look for the client. With fashion photography it's easy to do if you have the right collaboration.

I recently worked on a fashion photography shoot with a small team. Though it was small, I was happy to have the input and help from a few professionals.

Here’s 3 collaboration staples for a successful low budget fashion photoshoot:

Team Work Live Art Love

KEY TEAM PLAYERS

Every photography shoot is different. Though you can go at it alone. You don’t always need to. Plus, it might make it stress free to have a few helping hangs on set. This can be in the form of a producer, assistant, stylist, hair and makeup etc.

For the shoot I did, I was lucky to have hair and makeup, stylist, and an assistant. When finding your team players it’s a good idea to find people that have experience doing more than one field. For example, my makeup artist also did hair. So instead of getting one person to do makeup and one to do hair. I paid the makeup artist a little more to do both.

I’m a strong advocate on paying the people you contact to work with. But, once in awhile I have people reach out to me to gain experience doing styling or shadowing me for free. This can be a big help if the shoot I'm doing doesn't include the budget for a stylist. In this case one of the model’s friends wanted to do styling. Which worked out great for me! In exchange she received credit for styling the shoot. Which is great since it was the first shoot she had ever styled!

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VISION

When you’re working with a strict budget, you usually have a strict timeframe to do it. There’s no luxury in multiple days, endless set design and pre production days. Instead, you usually get a phone call with your key team and then you see them the shoot day. That’s not a lot of time. You have to make sure that you have a vision, it’s organized, and it’s told to your team. This helps when everyone is on the same page and they know what the end goal is. When getting the vision of your shoot. It’s best to have many sources. Magazine, Instagram, and Google. Save photos that fit your theme, print them out, have them nearby on the shoot date. Reference them often!

Live Art Love Makeup Artist

OPEN MIND

You’re a creative genius, we know. But, that doesn’t make your perfect. Be vocal with your team that you encourage input and ideas. This is everyone’s shoot let them have some creative magic too. That means listen to hair/makeup when they want to try something new. Have a few extra minutes? Snap a photo of the stylist working BTS on the shoot. Making people feel good, helps them do their best work. You don’t have to agree with every suggestion, but hear it out and think about if it could help. What I find is, usually a suggestion is changing something small and taking a photo. You never know unless you try, plus you can always change it back!

When forming your team, find people that are fun to work with and who you get along with. Shoots can take awhile! The last thing you want is someone who is only there for a paycheck. Paychecks are nice, great in fact, but so is having an enjoyable shoot. The best part of low budget photography is that even though you’re getting paid less. You’re choosing who you work with, how you’re going to do it and implementing your vision. Use these shoots to build the work you aspire to do and the team you want to build with.

Live ARt Love Vision
Live Art Love Armani Joseph

What are some tips you have when doing a low budget photoshoot?

Thanks for reading!

LIVE ART LOVE TEAM