The Secret of Professional Photoshoots

I used to look at fashion magazines and wish I looked like some of the male models. Then, I look my own pictures from my digital camera and wonder what I am missing.

Now, enter the world of fashion and the world of “art”. The general public is unfamiliar with the amount of time it takes to come up with a “good shoot”. Of the 100 pictures, only 3-5 are “top quality” and maybe 1-2 are “amazing”. In America’s Next Top Model, Tyra once offered the models to compete for 100 -300 takes, with the winner getting 300 shots and the loser getting a limited 100. Even these girl models takes about 300 pictures!

photoshoot behind the scenes

Take into account that art direction, lighting, AND digital editing that takes place, this image of the “human god” or “goddess” is portrayed by the media in this rat race of ours. The next time you see a picture of yourself that you don’t like, remember that if you took 100 pictures of yourself, you are sure to find one that is very good.


Now, onto professional photography. I thought this was bogus, until I went to one myself and saw the quality of the results. Just like it takes time to mint out a high quality samurai sword, there is a process for developing sexy and amazing photographs.

photoshoot behind the scenes
Behind the scenes, the action can be chaotic in creating a calm and beautiful picture

  • Make sure you see previous work and photos of your photographer.
  • Send him or her 2-3 pictures you found of celebrities and what you would like the end result to be.
  • Don’t  be shy about your looks. The goal is to do whatever it takes to get the right picture into your personal portfolio.
  • A personal photoshoot should cost around $200-400 USD. In the end, you should have at least 100 photographs to choose from, and of those, 5-7 to digitally edit.
  • Plan this out hopefully on a day where you don’t work, or on a weekend. Schedule in at least 3 hours for a photoshoot. Calibrate depending on the number of “idealized model pictures” you would like. (30 minutes for each picture, 1 hour to get ready, 30 minutes to change outfits)
  • Have different attires and clothes you would like to be photographed in. Have these prepared ahead of time.
  • Have your hairstyle done correct or the accessories you need to look your best. Your hair products and makeup should be available to you during the shoot.
  • Bring water – stay hydrated.
  • Vaseline helps chapped lips, and adds shine to your teeth.
  • As stylish men, ask a girl friend or even a female model from craigslist to model with you. This would cost less than $100 and you would only need her for an hour. Better yet, invite a girl friends of yours to join you. She’ll jump at the opportunity to add some cool pictures to part of her portfolio for free.

photoshoot behind the scenes2
Get a female friend to join the fun!

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