Modeling Pro Tips: On Location

Time for part two in the pro-tip series! In the previous entry, we learned about what makes for the most useful “model behavior” in studio. Now, let’s tackle on location shoots.

The most important difference between studio and location shoots is that, on location, the potential for unknown factors to happen is increased dramatically. There’s a lot less that you and your crew will be able to control for, even if you have all of the permits and spent all of the time planning things out. That being the case, here’s what you need to keep in mind, as a model:

Use a Rolling Suitcase
Ditch the trendy and cool canvas or leather duffel bag. Throw all your underwear, shoe, and accessory options into a small or medium sized rolling suitcase, like a nerdy square. It could be that you have to park and then walk a distance before you hit your shoot spot, and there are three wardrobe looks or four video setups on the shot list, and its on a hiking trail. A rolling case is much more practical, and makes for easy and neat retrieval when it’s time to switch shoes or throw on a belt. Digging and excavating through your cavernous designer tote? No time for it.

Bring Portable Chargers

Think ahead. Charge a few portable chargers the day before, and bring them with you. Juice all day. If you lay eyes on an outlet at all, it will be a miracle – don’t count on it.

For Ladies: Bring a Huge Baggy Tee or Tunic

Beach shoot, three bikini looks, in Malibu! Sounds awesome, right? Until it dawns on you that Malibu State Beach is severely lacking in facilities where one could do a quick change. Or, you’re shooting in downtown Los Angeles amongst eateries and coffee shops with restrooms that are only available for customers. Guys get off easy here – their naked torsos are socially acceptable, so even a change in the car won’t set off anyone’s alarms. For the ladies, until the nipple is totally free, an oversized tee or tunic will really come in handy. Throw it on, change quickly on the spot underneath, and immediately start getting the next shots.

Find Your Light: The Sun

In the studio, you look to artificial sources of light to “work it”. Outside, it’s all about the sunshine; even on an overcast day, and even when the photographer is using flash. Finding your light on location is more about being aware of shadows. Shadows cast by structures and nature in your vicinity, and the shadows that the sun creates when it’s shining directly on you. Finding your light on location is trickier than in studio because the light is continuously changing. Practice makes perfect: spend some time in the outdoors and take selfies in the bright sunlight, and on an overcast day, and on a partly cloudy day. Try different angles. Make mental notes of how you look in each photo.

Shooting on location tends to be a bit more stressful than shooting in studio because of how uncontrolled your environment can be. As such, every crew member and talent is relied on even more to be responsible for pulling their own weight. These short, simple, and practical pro tips will have you pulling yours like a professional in no time.

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