Book your storybook team

With your concept in the shape of a mood board and as soon as you have a clear notion of the budget that you’d like to spend on your new campaign photos you can begin to book your professional team and everything you’ll need for the production additionally. Like it’s described in tip no. 4 there’s more to include in the calculation than just the main players (which are the models, the photographer, the hair & make-up artist, the fashion stylist, and possibly an external art director). After all, they could certainly all use assistants and some set runners who are there to help wherever they’re needed. In specific cases location supervisors or security guards are necessary, the latter especially when you shoot with valuable products like jewellery. And as we’re dealing with humans who have basic needs there’s no way around organising catering for the day. On top of all the fees for the people involved there possibly are equipment, location, and prop rents to be paid, or other things to be bought. Last but not least a fair part of your expenses are flowing into your license that allows you to actually use the resulting photos for your purpose.
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Let your mood board undergo a reality check

Following the guidelines of my last tip, your mood board may by now be ready to be seen by others. At this point, always be careful with the copyrights of the mood material because sharing will be a form of publication for which you actually need a license of each copyright holder and the models shown (and on top of that the legal prerequisites are different in every country). In order to be on the complete safe side here, you can find a good range of useful creative commons photos on stock photo platforms some of which even offer images for free, e.g. Unsplash, Pexels, or pixabay. If you’re seeking even more professional content that was for example published in fashion magazines earlier, you can find a good variety on gettyimages, however, you’ll need to invest a bit of cash in it. Besides the copyright aspect, this article treats a few further stages where you’ll be able to touch up the mood board and make it a masterpiece. 
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Mastering the art of mood board creation

After reading the last article’s advice you might be eager to finally learn how to create a mood board by yourself, according to your own shooting idea. Ultimately, it’s the most creative part in a campaign shoot and it secretly makes you the true artist. Yet, for some, it might not be clear what a mood board is exactly, let alone what to consider a good versus a great mood board. By definition, mood boards can be different kinds of presentations that combine images, text, etc. on a topic to convey a feeling about it. Such a mood board can serve as a script that, at first, wins over a good photo team and then functions like a briefing that everybody draws on during the preparation and the production day. Therefore, mood boards are communication tools and a superior one clearly distinguishes which pictures are describing what elements of the photo shoot resp. which guidelines are who’s cup of tea. After all, you certainly want to avoid that the hair & make-up artist styles a model after a mood picture that was actually just there to characterise the light situation you wanted. 
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How to get inspired for a campaign shoot

The last three tip articles have revealed to us who is needed to execute a photo shoot successfully. Now, as we know that we’re dealing with a team of at least 4 people (a photographer, a model, a hair & make-up artist and a fashion stylist) we want to make sure that everyone shares the same vision of what is going to be produced so that they can do their best in their fields. Therefore, this article and the following two are going to treat the most important puzzle piece of any photo shoot: the concept and its making.
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Hire a fashion stylist and your products will look their best

In the fashion industry, we usually say ‘stylist’ when we’re referring to the fashion/wardrobe stylist. Therefore, they are often confused with the hairstylist or even the make-up artist by non-professionals. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that a photoshoot with people requires a fashion stylist but they are indeed a necessity even if you advertise a car or a new toothbrush – not to mention when you want to sell the fashion itself. In the following, I’m going to name a couple of reasons why hiring a stylist will make the photos you commissioned look as professional as you imagined them in the first place.
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The importance of the model for a successful campaign

In this chapter, we’re focussing on the team and its importance for your photoshoot. We can agree that we need a professional photographer (at least I hope you do) and this is why I’m just going to elaborate on the roles of professional models, make-up artists, hairstylists, and fashion stylists with the next three posts. This article is explaining what you need to know about models and why your campaign can be more successful when it’s photographed with a professional one who is signed at an agency. 
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Tip 16 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Directions of light – Why you shouldn’t always look on the bright side

By reading my last three tip articles you had the opportunity to gain basic knowledge about different kinds of light such as natural light, flashlights, and continuous light. By bringing reflectors and diffusers into play the possibilities of modifying light beams to be soft or hard, wide-angle or focused, direct or indirect are game-changing. However, there’s one thing left to be discussed: the effects of the light’s direction on the model and fashion. 
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Tip 15 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

When to use continuous light for your campaign photography

It’s almost needless to say but for the sake of completeness: continuous light is designed for film making. For photography flashes offer the most efficient way of lighting a set – they save energy due to releasing light for just a short amount of time, yet they are powerful and furthermore do they come with plenty sorts of light shapers, which are mostly easy to build up and attach. However, continuous light has one very clear advantage: you can see the light of the setup even before the first photo or footage is taken and it’s, therefore, a good way for non-professionals to start understanding light – or at least to be confident of the light situation created.
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Tip 14 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

The power of using flashes for your campaign photos

In the absence of natural light, we are required to add artificial light to illuminate a scene, usually in the form of flashes. Clearly, this is mostly the case when we shoot indoors and don’t have enough daylight coming in through the windows or we don’t want to rely on it. Besides brightening the subject, flashes have another feature, which is the ability of “freezing” movement in a photo, because the period of time passing by during the lighting is very short. However, for super-fast movements special high-speed flashes AND cameras are required in order to capture the right moments with no blur. Flashes are either synchronised with the camera through a wire or radio, or they react to other flashes if they are in range. This is why e.g. a simple smartphone photo taken with a flash can at once trigger all studio flashes – so make sure to always take your making-of images without using the flash mode. 
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Tip 13 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

The value of natural light for your campaign photos

Welcome to part three of my tips for better campaign shoots. After discussing a few fundamentals and the effects of different visual factors on your imagery in the first two parts of this guide, we go ahead with what you must know about light to be able to decide and communicate exactly what you want for your photos – first of all to the photographer that you work with. Why is this important? Because photography is basically just like a painting done by light. The direction, intensity, and kind of light used are determining how an image, and therefore your fashion will look like. Of course, you don’t actually need to know how flashlights function. But if you’re aware of how light can create the mood of your choice, you’re far ahead of many others and the outcome of your shoot will much more look like your previous vision of it. Agree? Great, so then let’s talk about the usage of daylight, flashlight, continuous light and their performance, handling, and the possibilities of shaping it within the next four articles. Today’s article is covering everything worth knowing about daylight and why you might want to use it for your images.
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Tip 12 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

The impact of props on your photo campaign

First of all, let’s clarify what really counts as props (short form of properties). According to the film dictionary of Uni Kiel, props are all objects on set including small items like e.g. telephones, food, plants as well as bigger ones like furniture, etc. Additionally, animals are called props too, even though they obviously require special treatment. Before we clarify if you need one or more of these props for your imagery, please take in what I claim to call classical props at fashion shoots. You can then decide, if these are an option for you or if you certainly won’t use them. 
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Title photo for Journal entry "A Merry Christmas Time"

Heidi’s Christmas Calendar

I really love Christmas time, even more than the holidays. It’s a time when everything is illuminated, the first snow comes and you keep meeting your friends at Christmas markets. You start thinking about how you can make other people happy and you get plenty of chances to do so. There is the tradition of giving gifts which we do on Christmas eve in Germany. There is St. Nicolas’ Day on 6th December and there is the possibility of making someone a little present every day during the advent season – with an Advent calendar. I came up with the idea to do so with a photographic calendar in November 2016 already. Unfortunately for the Christmas season of that year, there wasn’t enough time left to make it happen. So I started the new year of 2017 with the early intent to make an Advent calendar for the next season. And so I started with the first shooting in March already.
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