Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stay safe at your first photo shoot.

I just got home from a really fun photoshoot.
I worked with Clyde McKenzie of newimagephotography on a photoshoot for Ibi Salon here in Orlando.
Everyone was awesome which was very lucky on my part! A good photoshoot can be the key to building connections, getting great photos, and even bartering for some useful stuff. But, as women, we also need to acknowledge that these experiences can be dangerous. Below is a little advice on how to stay safe when shooting or working with someone for the first time.
Let's face it, people are dangerous. The best way to stay safe on a photoshoot or any gig in the fashion biz is to bring a guy. Sometimes this just isn't feasible so here's what I do before I meet up with strangers.

Ask if you can bring a friend. If your photographer says no it's a bad sign. BUT jealous boyfriends can ruin a shoot and many photographers know this. Also, photographers DON'T want to hear your boyfriend's ideas and critiques. Because of this many photographers have a "no boyfriend's allowed" policy. If this is the case it doesn't mean you can't shoot with them, it just means you need to be vary.
Let someone know where you're going - the exact address, the phone number, the name, and what time you should be home.
Call the photographer before, don't just email. You can learn a lot about someone over the phone.
Meet up in a public place. I know this is a hard one and sometimes it really isn't possible, but it's worth a shot - especially on a first shoot.
If you're supposed to shoot at a business like I did today, look them up online to make sure it's a legit place and not just a warehouse set up to look like something else.
When you get there DON'T just walk in. Walk by, look for other girls, other people, and populated businesses near by.
I like to call my boyfriend right before I go in to let him know it looks cool.
WATCH OUT for the old bait and switch. This takes good judgment on your part. If you're supposed to shoot clothing don't get duped into shooting lingerie or fetish stuff. Also, if you're supposed shoot in the evening and the photographer moves the session to 1:00 am it's a bad sign. BUT sometimes things come up and plans need to be changed. For example, I was set to do a roadside shoot the other night but the high school had a football game so the road with packed with traffic. I had to reschedule for later at night to get a clear shot.

99% of photographers are great people who really are into the art aspect of it. I want all of your shoots to be safe. Many photographers have been in the biz for long enough to know what to expect - jealous boyfriends, crowded venues and bad weather can all put a damper on things and turn a photographer off. Be smart BEFORE you go out to a shoot.

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