How are others doing it? How do they come up with all those amazing outfits, props, expensive accessories and the most interesting edits? Well, let’s find out together how to plan an amazing shooting from the comfort of your own home. Yes, you got that right, you don’t even have to get off the sofa!
Mood Board. Simple as that. A mood board is actually quite powerful, and not just when it comes to photography. Anyhow, create a physical or digital one, I prefer my Ipad, and put all the things that cross your mind on it. After, start analysing, removing, adding and mixing, until it all makes sense and you got your self a beautiful aesthetic. Get inspiration from other photographers or artists that did what you actually plan on doing. For my mood board, I have my secret weapons: Notability and Pinterest. You can never go wrong with these two and it’s so relaxing at the same time! Mood boards are also great when you want others to understand what’s in your mind, it makes everything so much easy and organised.
Part of my job is to look for props, and despite sounding a bit overwhelming or perhaps boring, it’s actually one of the things I enjoy the most. No matter the theme of your shooting, Amazon and Ebay take the lead on this one without a doubt. From costumes to fake fruits or wigs, Amazon was and will be my all time favourite. But let’s say sometimes you feel like going out, feel the textures or you simply want to find that certain something that will take your props game to the next level. Well, this shouldn’t be a surprise either but antiques, charity shops, backyard sales and street sales are the places you want to go. It’s impossible not to find something exquisite and for a small price.
Most probably they don’t own it. Yep. When I started out, I was always wondering how others in the same situation as myself, had so so many things to try out and take photos of. And I’m not talking about cheap plastic with some spray paint, I’m talking about beautiful Pandora products that were stealing the eyes of everyone. OSR’s, I even gave them a name, yes (order, shoot, return). And please, don’t take this as an invitation to do so, but rather as an fyi, alright? So many, many people out there, order clothes and accessories for shootings. They do what they have to do, and after, they simply return them with no remorse what’s so ever. The second thing is emailing small boutiques or brands that are just starting out, asking for products in exchange for images or some exposure (if they have a good social media presence, this actually works).
Pinterest again? Maybe, yes, but not necessarily the way you expect it. Most of the people I know use Pinterest for wallpapers and nice images, but it has so much more to offer. For example, editing tips, settings and cool techniques to achieve certain looks. Youtube is of course another option but I tend to stick to the plan, meaning that I make my mood board and decide from there on what to do and how to do it. If you like to add an extra something to your images, follow Photoshop on Instagram and keep an eye on their stories, they usually show amazing before and afters and also step by steps from creators. But my advice, the most valuable and important one, experiment, continuously, experiment as much as possible because I’m telling you from experience, the best things happen when you expect the least. And keep track, keep track of your settings and adjustments, attach the image in question next to them, and you will see how your workflow will improve and how many ideas can get out of this.
It doesn’t have to be your own at first. It’s alright to look at others and try to reproduce their work and style. Why? Simply because in time you will, without even noticing, develop and add your own style. Let’s say you are a fan of Zara, and you look on their website and want to create something similar with them. Start unpacking the images, determine the type of light you need, angle, background, clothing and makeup. This is one of the most effective techniques I have tried and you get amazing results pretty fast.
Hope you find this article useful and don’t worry, I’m planning on writing more on the matter. Let me know how a shooting goes for you, no matter if it’s for Instagram, portfolio, uni or work.
Take care, stay safe!