Creative Melbourne is a new Facebook group I was invited to join for a model shoot a couple of weeks ago. It was a speed dating style shoot where they organise multiple models and photographers and where you spend some time with each model over a series of locations and about 5 hours, in some cases sharing a model with one or more photographers.
In our case, the session involved a meet up at about 6:30pm although the actual session only really kicked off around 7:30 due to some location issues with a concert happening next door. We then moved from one location to another as lighting changed, spending an hour at each location. I.e. daylight shooting at one location but locations with more artificial lighting as night set in.
This was my second attempt at this speed dating style model shoot, although my experiences were pretty similar to the previous event…the first model is a little strange (not her fault) because it’s that awkward moment of being with 10 people you don’t know, having to build a raport very quickly. Everyone tends to warm up for the second and third shoot, and after about an hour, everyone is pretty relaxed and the shooting is a lot more natural because you’ve had a chance to talk to people.
The last time I did a shoot like this, I never went back to the first model I shot with and as a result, I didn’t have many good photos of her, but this shoot, I did. You will still get better photos of some models than others, either because you have better locations with some, or just a better working relationship. The simple reality is that we work better with some people than others, nothing wrong, that’s just life. Some people like to be directed more, some photographers like to direct more.
With this shoot we had some pre-planned locations, and the photos for these locations were good, but it was the unplanned locations that turned out amazing. The amazing thing with Melbourne is that new art installations pop up every day so walking around in Melbourne can result in different shooting opportunities week by week.
If you’re planning to organise a shoot like this, there are a couple of things I would consider:
- Locations are critical – You need locations that ensure that the models you have can all find different locations to shoot without being on top of each other
- Number of photographers to models must be maximum of 3:1, preferable 2:1 or you could be stuck in a position where you are on top of each other
- You need to consider having more locations rather than less, so if a number of locations are unavailable, you have backups.
If you’re planning to do a shoot like this, I’d recommend it, particular as a TFP style shoot where you are trying to get a spread of photos in one outing.