What Is an On Location Photo Shoot Like?

By Shawn Petrovich of Totally Ripped of Los Angeles, which specializes in photography and video of fitness models.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to participate in a professional photo shoot? Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes during creation of those awesome photographs you see in magazines?

Here is a typical description of an "on-location" photo shoot.

Not Glamourous

You will look good in your photos, but do not expect your photo shoots to be glamorous. Unfortunately, photo shoots often are grueling, disorganized and downright boring. You can read how some models Endure Harsh Conditions, Uncomfortable Poses.

Making photography locations look exotic is pretty common. The background may look like a fantasy location, when in reality the photo shoot was held in a parking lot or up against a wall.

Disorganized and Stressful

New models are often surprised how disorganized photo shoots are. They prepare for months and show up expecting plans to be executed with precision. Weather is often a culprit. capturing that perfect photo at an outdoor location with all its unexpected conditions can become stressful to crew and models. Plus, a lot of the decisions may be made on the set.

Murphy's Law

Always remembers Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Plans often do not go as expected. Photo shoots can be disorganized; props can be forgotten; supplies can be lost. And just when everything and everyone is ready -- it will sometimes rain! Everyone tries to do his best to prepare. So, it is best to relax, go with the flow and realize the photo shoot will get done! Some things are simply beyond human control.

Weather Often Causes Problems for Outdoor Photo Shoots

Weather is often an trouble spot for outdoor photo shoots. Since the crew cannot control weather, they sometimes must capture photos quickly. One beach photo had to be created in minutes before an approaching storm. Sometimes the weather cancels everything. A tropical storm canceled an entire week of shooting. Similarly, shot can cease when the sun disapears behind the clouds. One model waited several hours because clouds blocked sunlight at his photo shoot.

Limited Time

Departure times for photo shoots are flexible. It is common for the stated "call time" to be 4 p.m. But the photo crew may not leave for the location until two hours later.

You will do a lot of waiting. We call this "hurry up and wait." This means, you do a lot of waiting, and then when you are needed, you must move fast. For example, we might wait for the sun to set - to achieve that late evening orange sun. Once the sun turns the right color, we must hurry to get all our poses done.

Often a photo crew is on the verge of running out of sun during outdoor photo shoots. It is important for the photo crew to prepare the location and capture the photographs before the sun sets. Male models must move quickly.

"I tell models that I have all day to wait for them, but the sun will not wait," Columbus, Ohio photographer Paul S. Ross says.

NEXT: Duties of the Photo Crew at your photo shoot. What do they do and why are they here?

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