Congratulations to Holly Carpenter who won the Miss Ireland crown this year. I met Holly and some of the other Dublin Miss Ireland contestants at a shoot for The Dubliner Magazine. I was asked to shoot it as the Official Photographer, Vince Tully was unavailable due to the new arrival in the family, congrats Vince! It was great to be asked to do it . The opportunity to work with the Miss Ireland crew, the contestants and getting some work published was great. The location was the D4 Berkey Hotel. The manger Gerry was fantastic in accommodating us for the shoot, making sure we had everything that we needed. The D4 Berkley, was also the venue for the Miss Ireland Final
Jumping in at the last minute for a shoot is never ideal. It means you are not fully prepared, you may not fully understand the brief for and what shots are required. I was told a basic brief that entailed of some swimwear, some cocktail dress, individuals and groups shots. I wasn’t to know the style of the cloths until I seen them on site and I also was not familiar with or the team that you are working with. All these questions I want to know before a shoot if possible as the more planning that can be done pre-shoot that more time during the shoot is spend actually getting the shots rather than trying to setup and find the shot.
With all this in mind, I made sure to turn up early for the shoot. Getting there early means there is some time to meet the models, the hair and make-up team and to have a scout around the location (It turned out that I did know one of the team, Tassia). Unfortunately though I still had no ideas of the cloths that were were shooting or what looks were needed, it would be a few hours before all that came together. So knowing the locations is only half the battle, the cloths is the other half. Some cloths will suite that particular locations etc.
Any spare time on a shoot, no matter the reason for it is valuable time. I spend that time getting up all the lights and testing them to make sure that they were all firing. I even got some of the girls up for some shots to test out some locations and also to get the chat flowing a bit and keep things some what interesting while we waited. Having all the lights out and ready to go meant that when the cloths arrived and it was go time, it was just a very short time required to place lights, set power and start shooting.
The extra time was great on this particular shoot as it was the first time I was using the Elinchrom 135cm Octobox and the 70cm Deep Octo. I had them already assembled at home, so it was just a matter of putting them on the lights an seeing how they performed. I done the usual stuff, a few test pops with the light meter at various distances to see its output along with some test shots. But more on that in a future post.
As this was my first time shooting for a publications with a set brief, it was a little strange having some one else take control and be the Creative Director. Up until this point, all my shoots have been my controlled by either my self of the model as we try out different things, experiment and see what we like. I always knew what I roughly wanted and we worked towards that. There was no pressure to deliver a particular shot. This time it was different. Brendan Marc Scully was styling the shoot today and he was the Creative Director as such. The CD’s job is basically to tell the photographer what shot they want, how it should look and then its up to the photographer to do it. It was good in a way as it means that there is a certain element of thinking and responsibility is removed from the photographer. It also means however that creative freedom as a photographer is surrendered and that there is the extra burden of making sure that the required shots are delivered.
Shooting for print or for a client also has some other differences as opposed to shooting for yourself /your own portfolio. The main difference is that you usually don’t get to chose what shots are used. When you are shooting for your own portfolio, you pick the shots that you really like and want in there because its your work. When shooting for a client, they pick the shots that best fits the story they are trying to tell. If you are the type who gets attached to your work, it could leave you frustrated as you see some of best shots from a shoot not being used. At the end of the day however, they are the customers and you don’t always know the end used for the images.
Thats about it for now. The trouble with leaving blog post for so long after the actual shoot is that you forget a lot of stuff to say. I will be doing a BTS post later as I have a good few lighting shots. But in the meantime, feel free to ask any questions that you may have.