When setting up a photo shoot, what’s commonly your first big decision?

ZenBrianZenBrian Administrator Posts: 1,689
There are a number of things that go into setting up your next shoot. The Hero shot is usually the culmination of every decision, all wrapped up into one glorious image. But you have to start somewhere to get to that finish line. This will vary from shoot to shoot, naturally, but:

When setting up a photo shoot, what’s commonly your first big decision? 44 votes

Pick my client/concept - without one there is no shoot
27% 12 votes
Location - that helps inspire me for the rest of the shoot
40% 18 votes
Model - inspiration from the model will help dictate the environment/concept
6% 3 votes
Gear - Can’t shoot anything without it/I want to play with something new
2% 1 vote
Storyboard – A clients requirements will let me know what else I need
6% 3 votes
None of these - but there is one thing… (let us know!)
15% 7 votes

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  • Stephen DaughertyStephen Daugherty Member Posts: 2
    Concept by far. Using the obligatory Ansel Adams quote "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept."

    That's not to say I don't have my fair share of fuzzy concept photos - they just stay hidden from view to hide my shame.
  • portraitistportraitist Member Posts: 31
    None of the above - I consider the time of day in order to determine the light and how it can best be used. Light first!
  • EdZenEdZen Member, Administrator Posts: 76
    For me right now, it's location. It's very difficult to take interesting photos if you're not standing in front of interesting things.
    Ed Caggiani
    Check out my photos at www.CaggianiPhoto.com
  • sarahashleyphotossarahashleyphotos Member Posts: 208
    I agree. Lighting first
  • EvanChungPhotographyEvanChungPhotography San Francisco Bay AreaMember Posts: 18
    Location, Location, Location. Then lighting and subject.
  • Zen Brian!

    I'd answered story board because I try and work in series but all parts are equal in creating an image:


  • zfjnzfjn Member Posts: 3
    my first big decision would be lighting...
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,461
    My first is getting paid. All other decisions are based on that. I won't have to think very much if a client only has $50 to spend. I can think a lot if they have $500, however.
  • For me it is almost equal parts location, model then lighting based on assignment. When traveling and photographing subjects this is foremost a location-centrique shoot with the models being locals to the area. I then choose the time of day to head out to create the look I envision. However, when photographing editorial work on assignment I base my location and mood for the photos around the story being written for the publication(s). I recently photographed an architect for a story and looked into his resume of locations designed and shot him in front of that home. Naturally, once the subject and location are chosen, lighting and time of day are then critical to having everything come together.

    What are others thoughts/opinions here?
  • Pete FerlingPete Ferling Member Posts: 26
    To me. One of the most exciting things in my line of work is when the client picks the challenge. From that, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is a lack of enthusiasm, indifference or an unhealthy hesitation.

    Granted. Shooting something like a Ketchup bottle, for instance, might seem like a stretch to get excited about. However, you need to understand that the client, whom owns the idea, has a different point of view. That otherwise boring product just so happens to pay the bills and provide a lifestyle that he or she enjoys. That if you climb aboard and become a team player, then you too can reap the rewards.

    More so, a client will come to you in hopes that you'll create a vision that will foster the same kinds of enthusiasm in their customers. Therein lies the challenge from which to draw your inspiration.
    Commercial and Product Photography
  • I shoot architecture, so the choices on this poll don't really fit.

    Concept by far. Using the obligatory Ansel Adams quote "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept."

    Love that quote

  • If I'm going to be shooting sport or an event all day, I need to be sure my gear is in good shape, fully charged batteries (including back up camera bodies) all the cards formatted and batteries for the flash.
    I also need to have a good idea of where the sun is going to be and what my best angles are likely to be.
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