Producing a Photoshoot – The Final

In some ways, this can be the hardest part of the whole process.  At least for me it is.

The first part:  planning.  It’s creative.  Yes, there is project management involved.  The manifestation of your vision.  Planning.  Wardrobe and props.  Putting the team together.  Adrenaline runs.

The second part: execution.  Day of the shoot.  This is what I live for!  It’s work.  It’s fun.  But it’s work.  I’m exhausted at the end of the day.  Whether it’s for a client or portfolio.  It costs money.  And my time costs.  Shoot day is a big high.  But it’s a bigger low if my shoot doesn’t go well.

The final part:  delivery.  Maybe the least artistic part of the photography process.  This is where we finalize images and deliver them.  Whether it’s a paying client or myself.  Selecting images for use, processing them, delivery and follow-up.

Selecting Images

If you didn’t know, the number of ‘usable’ images, even among the best photographers, tends to be about 25% of the total number taken.  At least that’s the number I hear from photographers who are asking people to pose.  And my own experience pans this out as well.

Producing a photoshoot.  Image selection!

Producing a photoshoot. Image selection!

Now, I really try to not rapid fire my photoshoot.  For one thing, it’s a major time-suck when you have to go through many images.  And you know you could have done the same work with half the images.  I consider it a little sloppy.   And not having a clear vision of what you wanted to accomplish..  Sometimes rapid-fire is necessary to get the image.  And you definitely want to give yourself some  time for some creative process.

Personally, I try to get my final image selection down to 10% of the total number of images.  And that’s really tough most of the time.  It usually doubles the image-selection time.  I go for technically good images.  That the fastest way to cut images.  That doesn’t mean that every hair is in perfect position.  Sometimes having misplaced hair adds to the style.  Then I go for images that resonate the most with me.  While this may add time to the selection process, I think it cuts down time in the bigger picture.  Why waste time on an image that’s going to take a lot of processing?

My point is:  efficiency.  Time is money.  And we’re in business to make money and live the life we want to live.  While there is nothing else I’d rather be doing.  I don’t want to be living in a closet.

Delivery

Once I have all the images done, it’s time to deliver them.  When images need to go to someone, I usually deposit them in a private online gallery and they can download them from there.  Or even better, the gallery service allows you to create a link and that link allows the client to download all the images in one swoop.  Even if you only have a 3 images, I usually have several different sizes for them for different uses.  So three files can turn into 9 or more total images.  And I want to make it as simple as possible for the client.

Producing a Photoshoot.  One of my favorites!

Producing a Photoshoot. One of my favorites!

I having been using SmugMug for quite a while.  But since they changed their customization process, I’m leaving them.  It’s been a total cluster-fuck trying to get a good looking looking website.  Mind you, I an do just about anything computer related.  Web design being one of them.  I can design a very decent website using WordPress in 2 – 3 hours.  I’ve spent DAYS trying to create something I am proud of.

I’ve looked at other services and believe my new choice for an online gallery service will be Zenfolio.  I know several veteran professionals that use the service and are extremely pleased with it.  They have a more professional feel to their service.

Follow-Up

After delivery, I usually follow-up with the client within a few days after delivery in case they may have questions.  I do a final follow-up about a week after that as well.

Everything is a commodity.  There are plenty of photographers that want to get the work and who do great photography.  But it’s not just about doing the best work.  It’s also about providing a great experience.  Great work, service, a pleasant experience and hopefully some fun!  And doing this takes a team effort.  If you have a person who doesn’t subscribe to this philosophy, the client will feel it.

This is it!  While there are many ways you can do the same process.  You have to do what you feel is right for you.  Happy shooting!

About the author

Ricardo Gomez is a Fashion Photographer based in New York City.

  • A Photographer Prepping for New York Fashion Week
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