Thursday, November 11, 2010

What it's like on a photo shoot

Well, yesterday's over and we did it!!!  We hauled booty and got in all of the shots I needed.  I really can't believe it. 

{not a professional photo..  will get them in a couple of days}

The first time I had some work professionally photographed- about 3 years ago- I was shocked by the amount of photographs shot in a day.  I think we ended up with maybe 7-10 shots??  That number seemed incredibly low to me.  I'd expected lots of angles and multiple options for rooms-  a smorgasboard!!  It's not like that... Every time you change angles, everything changes- lighting, sharpness, accessories need to be moved & tweaked, etc.  Had I been more prepared for what to expect, I'm sure we could have gotten in a few more, but taking even one photo is a long process. 

Some of you left comments about doing different arrangements and having the photographers take multiple arrangements because I was having trouble deciding how to style my house.  This would be so awesome if time weren't limited, but the reality is, that when you hire a photographer (which costs in the thousands) you need to take advantage of every single minute and every rearrangement for a shot is time you could be spending on another photo of another area of the home.  A typical shot can take an hour to an hour and a half... some take as little as 30 minutes- and then there are those magic 50 mm shots that can take 5 seconds.  You know how you typically see 12-20 photos in a magazine spread?  These come from 1-2 full days of shooting and sometimes more. 

Since Helen & FJ had been to my house for the Better Homes & Gardens shoot back in February, we were able to move quickly.  They remembered lighting & angles & important details.  I also take a ton of photographs of my house for this blog & so have tried just about every angle and knew what I liked & wanted. 

I took scouting shots of all of the angles I wanted & put them in a document to show to Helen & FJ.  We were definitely ambitious with the number of shots I needed and with daylight savings time, we fought the light.  We did the whole upstairs of my house (leaving out my uggghhh-still-green-70s bathrooms!) and I was able to get 2 alternate shots ( in the dining room I first set it up for eating and then we set it up for reading which is how we often use it.  We also made a pretty little garden corner in my living room for a nice vignette. )

On a photoshoot where you are paying for a full day, you want to be ready to take your first picture as soon as the light allows to maximize daylight.  You should have a list of all the shots you want to get.  You should know how the light will move about your house.  (Is it bright in the afternoon? morning?  When can you shoot a room?  What time can't you?  If the light is streaming in it strongly through a window it can create "hot" spots in photographs and it's really tough to shoot the room.)  You should have a general gameplan of the order of shots you will be taking and which rooms you'll be shooting at what times of day.  The light is king and it's the one thing you have no control over so let it guide your order of rooms and shots.

It's nice to have extra accessories & arrangements on hand to play with and you should have it all set up the day before.  You can rearrange and tweak once you're looking through the photographer's lense. You move things around for photos...  accessories, furniture, lamps, etc.  Things look really different on camera than they do in real life and the goal is to  make it look on camera as it does in real life.  This takes a lot of tweaking, which takes a lot of time. 

On a photoshoot every second counts so you scarf down lunch and barely remember to go to the bathroom.  It's one of those crazy days where you just plop down at the end and go "'phew."  We had a blast and I can't wait to get the new photos up!!

On another note, I know some of you have emailed with questions & I'm falling really behind on my emails and I apologize.  Work & kids and life are crazy right now and sometimes it feels as if I just can't keep up.  If I don't write you back, please don't think I don't care or am upset, it's just that there are so many balls in the air right now that sometime's it's really hard to manage a blog.  If there's something you haven't heard back about, please email me again.  I hope you can understand!!

Enjoy your day!!

xoxo, Lauren

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