7 Things To Remember On Your First Shoot

I just had my first "shoot" experience. Happy. But more importantly, I learned a few stuff.

It was by no means an official photo shoot. We didn't have a theme or anything. We just went to a nice spot and took some pictures. There were four of us, two shooters and two models. It was my first time and I think it was the models' first time, too. I learned a few stuff that I want to share.

Time - our shoot took around four hours. And we wrapped up because we were tired and hungry and a security personnel began asking questions. And it was also midnight and none of us has had dinner yet and one of us has to work early the following day. I think if we had more time and it wasn't late, we would have continued shooting. We were having that much fun. If you are planning a shoot, take this into consideration. Make sure you're not tired, you don't have plans afterwards or early plans the next day. This also brings us to the next point:

Food - because of how the time flies by when you're having fun, you're sure to get hungry. Be sure you have eaten before the shoot and that you are well hydrated. Bring food and water with you!

Nature Calls - be sure that you have done your business before the shoot and/or there is an easily accessible bathroom nearby.

People - all of us (models and shooters) are really good friends and this made the experience much more fun and easier. Unless you have a dedicated assistant coming with you, everyone has to help out with the current shot being taken. In our case, someone had to constantly hold our light stand + umbrella + strobe set-up because it was really windy. It fell a couple of times. Since we are all good friends, there was no problem asking each other to carry bags, move stuff and hold things. If you are shooting with acquaintances, friends' friends or strangers, make sure that you are comfortable asking for their assistance and that you do it courteously. Nothing sucks more than an arrogant and bossy photographer.

Equipment - make sure you are very familiar with your equipment and the equipment that will be available. I am a guilty of this. This is my first time to shoot using an external flash (Nikon SB900 fired optically). I think I burned a good 30 mins to 1 hour figuring out how to sync my camera with the flash. When I fired, the strobe fired too, so we were all confused why I can't sync with the speedlite. Turns out, you have to sync it to the 2nd curtain! ("Rear" for Nikon) What a noob moment for me. Fail.

The Excuse - If you are shooting in a public place, be prepared with an excuse. People are going to ask you what you are shooting for. Sometimes security personnel will do the same especially if you are shooting around a private or government property. It doesn't always have to be an excuse, you can say that you are an enthusiast and that you are just practicing or having fun. Either way, I guess what I'm saying is that you should be prepared to be asked these kinds of questions and have a good answer in mind.

Ideas - perhaps the most important thing in the whole activity. BEFORE you go to the shoot, make sure you have specific ideas (more or less) of the shots you want. You are going out to shoot and not to brainstorm. Thinking time counts against the clock and adds fatigue and is tiring for both shooters and models.

I hope this helps out newbies like me. And yeah, pics to follow. :)

Update: See the pictures here