I am blessed to be fortunate enough to work with musicians. Back in my earlier twenties, I was involved with music and never was able to fully chase that dream. Doing photographs for musicians allows me to live close to that dream.
Sometimes, an artist gives me a concept but sometimes they just give me a color scheme. It’s my job to closely match what they need in the photographs for the graphic designer to be able to do their album art.
When local singer/songwriter, Matt Adler asked me to do his photos, he gave me some color swatches and left the rest to me.
It’s no secret that I am from the self taught photographer generation and have always worked with what’s available to me rather than going out and spending a fortune on equipment. I appreciate more tools=more options. But what happens when we don’t have as many tools due to finances or availability? We improvise and still give our clients the best product. Sometimes having complete creative control can be intimidating but there are a few things I do when handling last minute sessions.
5 tips for last minute photo shoots
1. Choose a location with multiple backgrounds- By doing this, I am able to give my client many options. This is especially helpful for musicians who want to get the most life out of their photos. They are able to choose what’s best for their album artwork, their press kits, websites and profile photos; and all can be different.
2. Make the client comfortable first- By letting the client give your their perspective, they will be more comfortable in having their photo taken. Listen to them and they will be able to loosen up so you don’t waste time on the empty shots.
Tip: I ask my clients a lot of questions and take photos “while” they are talking so they get used to the camera.
3. Pay close attention to detail- Straightening hair, adjusting clothing, paying attention to the full composition of the shot will ensure that you don’t have to take the shot over and over or miss the “look” just because something was off in the photo.
Tip: Take your time in reviewing the photo’s composition and once you get the golden shot, move on so you’ll have time on your next location.
4. Engage your client- Just because you are the photographer and they are your subject, doesn’t mean you have to create a distance. By suggesting poses and helping explain how they can give a certain look, you will help them give the best in them. Remember photography is a recipe of the subject, your artistic and technical ability and how they mesh.
Tip: Encourage them; show them what each look shows up like on the camera. I always show my client the good and bad photo so they can adjust.
5. Have fun- I know from experience on being the subject on the other side of the camera, nothing is worse than a photographer who is not fun and engaging. You want your client to have a good “experience” not just a good photoshoot.
Tip: Ask them about their hobbies and likes and find some area to relate to. Keep your energy up and let them enjoy themselves.
Below is the “behind the scenes” of my photoshoot with Matt. All tips can be seen here: