How to know when you're ready for a studio portrait session
Having portraits taken in a photography studio, as opposed to outside, can add a little variety to your annual photo session collection, but can also add an additional level of planning to the process. Today, we will discuss 7 factors that should be considered when thinking about having portraits taken in a studio location.
1. Understand the difference in looks
Understanding the difference in look and feel with a studio portrait session is important. On a creative continuum, your session can take on a minimalistic feel, with a single subject and a single colored background or they can take on a varietal feel with colorful backgrounds, props, and lighting or can fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where your creative vision falls, because a studio is more of a "controlled" environment, having portraits taken in one can result in images with a more "formal", "polished" and/or "commercial" look and feel. So it's important to decide the look and feel you are going for.
2. Don't underestimate the planning
Again some studio locations can be a "blank- canvas", meaning it's up to you to make of it what you want. And depending on your vision, the effort it may take to bring your vision to life shouldn't be underestimated. If the look and/or feel you are going for is simple- one or two background colors with a prop or two, that is something most photographers can accommodate with no problem. But if you are looking to convey different moods and feels with various types and sized props and accessories to achieve a specific look, depending on the photographer's creativity level and interest in driving the creative direction, this responsibility can potentially fall on you as the client. So be realistic about your vision and the effort it will take to pull it off.
3. Know how to convey the creative direction
In order to pull off your vision, you also need to asses whether you have and/or can convey creative direction. In the commercial photography world, this is done in the form of visual aids such as sketches and even mockups. When driving your own creative direction, this can be done in the form of mood boards and inspiration boards. And although the photographer can provide their insight, this usually works best if there is a creative director or if the photographer assembles a team of whom can communicate directly with the client. When assembling a team there is the option to hire or assign people such as a designer, creative director, prop stylist or even an event planner to be responsible for bringing together your cohesive look.
4. Know your Photographer's capabilities
Just because your photographer knows their way around a camera, doesn't necessarily mean they know their way around a studio. Shooting in a studio can be a very technical task. Not only does your photographer need to understand how the vision will come to fruition within a "controlled" space, but they must also be familiar with various lighting equipment, backdrop stands, and appropriate camera lenses for that particular space..
5. Know your studio options
If your photographer doesn't have their own studio (such as myself), then that means you have to rent one, in addition to the photography services and photography product costs In this case, the photographer and the client will work together in identifying potential studios that will fit the vision, or the photographer may have a studio that they normally work in as a standard studio option.
6. Allocate the right amount of time
Sticking with the idea that a studio has to be rented, studio rentals. are normally booked by the hour with a set hour minimum. It is best to ensure the appropriate amount of time is booked so that the photo session flows with ease. Factors that should be considered when determining the amount of time needed for a studio rental include: photographer set up and break down time (for lights and camera gear), set styling time (remember those props and accessories from point #1 and 2?), make up time (if make up will be done on site), and wardrobe changing time. On average, most studios require a 2 hour minimum rental, so don't forget to include this in the budget during planning!
7. Have the appropriate wardrobe selection
And a-last, although this may sound like a no-brainer, it can be a small detail that can easily get overlooked. Make sure your wardrobe selection(s) are in alignment with the studio look itself. The last thing you want is to go through a detailed level of planning and execution, only to have a complete mis-match with your clothing. Complete bummer.
So what's the take away?
Studio sessions allow you the ability to create a story from zero, but just make sure you are aware of the resources needed to do so! And you're half way there because you 'got me! Use the contact me form and drop me a line and let's get started with planning that great idea!
Have an idea you've been thinking about? Use the contact me form and drop me a line and let's get started with planning that great idea! Want to stay in touch for future ideas? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and receive more information about me, my projects, promotions. and photography tips!