After working in the studio extensively the past few weeks, I decided to head outside (in the middle of record hot temps) to do some personal work. This past is about how I go about planning a photo shoot. Today is Shoot Day -2.
First off comes the vision. Like most photographers, I am experienced at going out and photographing events as they happen. I can grab a camera and lens, a flash or two, and go out and capture some pretty cool pictures of things like drag races, motocross, family events, etc., as they unfold. I have become fairly adept at shooting “on the fly” to capture a moment.
But what I really enjoy most is planning a shoot. I like to create a vision in my head first. It is much easier for me to work things out in my head to come up with what I want to “say”. One of my favorite pictures has been this Honda 305 Dream shot at Arcadia Lake in Edmond. To me it captures the essence of riding, a fantasy if you will. A athletic, attractive female has been out riding her bike, enjoying the feeling of two wheels, and now has stopped to reflect on the great day of riding.
I wanted to create another picture with somewhat of the same theme, but a little different slant. This time I wanted a girl to be out camping with her bike, hanging out by the water, getting ready to hit the sleeping bag after a long, fun day of riding. It was extremely important to me to be very realistic with the photo – stylized but realistic. I want cool sunset lighting, calm water, a pretty girl and cool bike.
My first step was to find a model. I have worked with Amie Taylor a couple of times before and knew she had a great athletic body that would rock the right picture. She is also a great person to work with and we had talked about working together again for some time. So I called her up and she was gung ho for the idea.
Next I needed a bike that a girl would be riding and camping with. My wife had just sold her BMW F650GS, which would be the perfect bike, but I called my friend Bill Dragoo and asked if I could use his wife’s BMW. She was good with the idea so I will pick it up the afternoon before the shoot.
Next I needed a location. Since the bike was in Norman and Amie lived in Noble, I decided to try Thunderbird Lake instead of Arcadia. Last night I went and scouted locations that might work. I found 4 possibilities and have narrowed it down to Clear Bay. There is a nice beach with a great sunset view across the lake, shooting into the setting sun.
Next I started a list of items I need for the shoot. Because it is a somewhat public beach and there were a few people there last night, I will get some “do not cross” tape to mark off an area where we will be shooting. My biggest concern is having a good location without disturbing others or having people in the background. We don’t have the budget for permits and police crowd control so we are going to do things the old fashion way – run and gun and be polite to people and see if we can get the immediate beach area to ourselves. Hopefully it is not too crowded. On Tuesday evening there was maybe a half dozen people in the area, so I am hoping we can shoot this location without too much trouble. I have two alternate locations nearby if needed.
It is going to be HOT and since this is a personal project, I don’t have the budget for a motor home to keep the talent cool, so we are going to just wing it. My model will have wet hair and very little if any makeup, since I want her to be realistic like she is out riding, so hopefully the heat won’t be too much of a problem and we won’t need much of a hair or makeup person. We are shooting at sunset so I will keep her in the car until we get everything set.
Here is my initial list of items needed for the shoot:
Generator for lights
Two AB800 lights with various modifiers
SB-900’s with modifiers
cooler with lots of water
water to wet models hair
various scrims to block sun
camera & lenses of course
power cords & grip gear
do not cross tape
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