Planning January and February shoot.

So I now have all the designs ready so I know how I want to shoot. The biggest challenge was to now find models that were suitable to creating the look I am after. I have decided to book the photography studio on the 14th February thinking this will give me enough time to get everything organised. When double-checking with Natasha, my student photographer I then realised it was Valentine's day and she would be unable to make the shoot. I had not taken into consideration that it would be Valentine's day and harder to request for models.

My first major issue is that I had a studio, I have the designs, I am just missing the important elements to the shoot, the photographer and models. This is my first major task. 

It is hugely important to scout the relevant people in order to get the desired outcome. There is no point compromising on this as there is a risk of not getting pleasing imagery. When in industry it can take weeks to source the appropriate professionals as it is so important to the shoot. This is why time management is so important in this project and when working within industry.

After scouting on ModelMayhem for a long time, writing lots of emails to photographers that I liked the look of their portfolios and waiting to hear back I had two photographers who confirmed that they would be able to shoot with me on Tuesday 14th. I decided to go with the photographer who I thought would be most suitable. Her name is Magdelena Bieth and she is a freelance photographer who is based in Southampton but travels a lot. Her website is I liked her work because she has a similar style of photography to what I like, simple, clean white backgrounds, soft shadows and a focus upon the eyes. 

After a few emails back and forth she confirmed she would be happy to do the shoot and would be interested in helping for the rest of the project as it would help her build her beauty portfolio. She also said she would be happy to work on a ‘TFP’ (time for print) basis which was a huge relief as my budget is already tight for the project as I plan to pay for 12 different models travel and expenses. I made sure to swap contact details in case there were any problems and we needed to contact each other. I knew this was important for me to do as I have heard about people not turning up on the day of the shoot and I definitely did not want this to happen!

My next step was to email models that I thought would be suitable. I was looking for models that had a commercial look, which would be able to relate to the high street consumer. To go with my trend, I wanted to use models for January and February with blue eyes and long hair. I felt that blue eyes were important because I wanted the blue winter sky of my trend to reflect within the colours of my image. Also as I was going to be using black within my trend I wanted to really make the eyes stand out and I thought blue would make this work. I wanted models with long hair because as the trend has a branching out theme I wanted the hair to look like it was moving and move in a flowing direction out from the head.  

Finding a model was my biggest challenge. I spent days emailing people on Model Mayhem but because I am only limited to sending 5 emails per day and had already sent out emails to photographers it made the model search lengthy which was very frustrating as I could see the 14th February creeping closer and closer. When organising something I like to have plenty of time to plan and not knowing how this shoot could go really worried me. I decided to resort to emailing people through Hotmail if they had their email address on their Model Mayhem account.  

By Saturday night I still had no reply from models, which was causing me to think maybe I should cancel the shoot and rebook. The main issue was that people were already busy in the evening due to it being valentine’s night. It made me realise that in the future I would need to be more aware and selective with which days I am going to book in the studios. I already have the problem of that I am only able to shoot during the week days as the studios are only open then, and the fact that most models are only available of an evening as they already work, causes times to shoot very difficult and needs lots of planning in advance. Another inconvenience is that the studios can only be booked two weeks in advance.  

Luckily by the Sunday evening I had had responses from two models that I was happy to use. The first was Christie Hitchens, a model I had contacted through Hotmail but found on ModelMayhem. She was from Reading so it did mean that I would have to cover the cost of her travel. I did not mind this if it meant that I was getting a model who is perfect to represent the trend. Within industry when carrying out a photo shoot, models can be sourced from all over the country or even world if the shoot is big enough. 


  The Second model to reply was through modelmayhem was Meg O’Duffy. She was also from Reading so I would also have to pay for travel.


As Meg had a softer natural beauty look I wanted her to represent my February look, which was going to be softer and more natural looking with the silver leaf, black brow and natural face. For Christie I thought she could carry a heavier makeup so I thought she would be appropriate to represent my January look. I decided I wanted to do the blended look but instead of having a black edge and pink inner I wanted to swap it round so the black was bleeding outwards. I wanted to try the brows sweeping upwards like they were branching out of position and because I had these details keep the rest of the eyes simple with a slick of black eyeliner and long branching lashes. I had it all planned by the Sunday evening and was ready to go out and buy certain makeup that I needed as well as lashes and nail varnish. I also wanted to use a lacey black top and big cuff bracelet, which I thought was appropriate.  

I decided that the top would be interesting to use if I wanted to use some further out shots and get more of the body involved. The top was black, which related to my trend and also was detailed but delicate at the same time. The cuff showed the strength of the rugged trend but did not interfere with the makeup causing it to be the main focus of the image. I liked the fact that it was a cold dull grey metal an also the pattern showed the different shattered effect. As Meg was going to have a very natural look with bits of detail I wanted her to wear the bangle and I thought the darker look, which was going to be on Christie would be able to carry the black top.

Once everything was confirmed with the models and details were swapped I contacted the photographer, as she wanted to see the models beforehand. I got a late reply from her saying that she would have to check her schedule and get back to me tomorrow. This was a huge blow, I thought I had had everything sorted and the day before the shoot she had said she was unsure. This made me question her reliability so I messaged back saying if she could let me know ASAP as I would need to get a new photographer otherwise. On Monday morning she contacted me to let me know she was able to make the shoot. I was still a little wary of how it was going to go so on the day of the shoot I text both models and photographer to confirm they were still able to make the shoot, luckily all of them soon responded and said they were.

As a precaution that something might go wrong I ensured that I had a friend also on the same course as me come along to assist just in case I would needed her help (such as collecting models and prepping skin and hair). I also made use of the ‘Buddy Up’ and asked her to come along to watch and help if needed. I was really nervous as this was my first shoot for my project and I was using people in industry, which I had not done for a long time so getting back into doing photo shoots was a little nerve racking. I was confident with what I wanted to do as I had practised the looks and drawn up face charts but I had a very tight schedule to run with as my first model was arriving at 4, the photographer at half 4 so she had half an hour to set up the studio and the second model to arrive at 5 so I could do her makeup when the other model was being shot.   

I came in an hour early to set up my makeup kit in the studio, go and check the studio was okay to use, get the sync leads for the camera and meet up with my buddy and explain the project.  I feel it is very important to arrive early and prepare as it looks more professional and ensures that I am organised for the shoot.

(I have had some problems uploading this blog entry so although it has only been uploaded today it was wrote a few days ago. For some reason it was not saving or publishing so I had to save the writing as a Word Document and copy it over today.)

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