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