• Anel van Dyk

To Do's for your first shoot

Great! It's photo time and you are ready to roll, possibly, but first there are a few things you need to know. Everything will be discussed more in depth at your pre-shoot meeting but here is a quick run down preceding the day.

Be prepared

Ok, it's just a photo shoot (not like you want these memories to stand the test of time or anything) so just how much prep work needs to go in to it? Well, quite a bit actually depending on what you want from the day.

Firstly, it helps being well rested, especially if you are more of the nervous kind, but a good night's rest never did anyone any harm. Sip your first cup of coffee for the day and relax.

Ensure that what you wear reflects what you want to capture and that your outfits work well together. You don't want to be all matchy-matchy but you do want to look co-ordinated. There's nothing like seeing Aunt Sally in her 'best' Sunday outfit and silently cringing every time you see the photo. The easiest to do this is to pick a theme and dress accordingly, such as 'A day at the park'. You would all dress comfortably and no one would stand out like a sore thumb. This also ensures that you don't all dress the same (such as a certain custard ad we all know too well where everyone is dressed in yellow and grey) and you would look like your true, authentic selves.

Also, don't fret too much about your hair and make up - it's a lifestyle shoot not a fashion show. Chances are the wind will dishevel your perfect hair the moment you step into an open space and you'd realized that you could've used that extra hour to sleep.

Clean up

As Murphy has it, if you don't want it in the photo its sure to show up some where, most probably in a favourite shot in a place that's a bit tricky to edit out. That dish washing soap on the kitchen sink and that garden hose all coiled under the tree - pack it away- unless you want to reflect the current state of your household with toys and cats lining the floors and sofas then let it be. The messier the better!

Be on time

Well, actually, be early. As the saying goes: 'If you are on time you are late, if you are early you are on time." Arriving early, or if the shoot is done at your house be ready early, ensures that there isn't this sense of urgency. If you are all frazzled at the beginning of the shoot it sets the tone for the rest of it and that only spells disaster. Arrive early, kick off your shoes and just relax.

Don't sweat the petty things. Don't pet the sweaty things

As much as you can possible prepare for these events, you can't really prepare for it. Sure, you can sort of guide the shoot to go in a certain direction but there is no guarantee that your hard work will bare fruit, kids run off in one direction and the dog runs off in another and it's complete chaos.

Things go wrong and that's OK. Just go with what ever unfolds, it's more natural and authentic that way anyway.

#howtophoto #meliamphotography #familyphotoshoot