How To Stage Your Own Photo Shoot (part 1)

Have you ever flipped through the pages of a magazine and wished you could have been a part of that gorgeous photo shoot?
Stop wishing! We enlisted professional photographer Steve Carty and celebrity hair and makeup artist David Goveia, who showed us how to achieve amazing pics that look like they should be a part of a fashion spread.

BEHIND THE LENS (Steve’s expert photography advice)
Many factors can differentiate an amateur photo from a professional one.

Backdrop – When shooting indoors, look for non-distracting backgrounds. If you’re shooting outdoors, look for shade, because it is the softest and most flattering on the face. Flash – Using a flash outdoors is great if you’re looking for that glossy magazine look. When using a flash indoors, stand no more than 6–8 feet away from your subject.
Shoot to format – In post-production, your images are going to get cropped. Leave some space at the very top or bottom of your frame.
Inspiration – Rip out fashion pages that you love. This will help give direction to your model and creative team on body language, styling and how you want your set to look. Using tear sheets as a starting point is great, but always bring your own ideas to the set.
Model placement – Get closer! For horizontal pictures, don’t place your subject directly in the centre of the frame. Pretend you’re shooting a two-page spread. With vertical images, visualize what your single page would look like – or envision it as the cover of a magazine.

BEAUTY SECRETS (David’s Expert Beauty Advice)
Hair and makeup are critical to the success of a photo shoot.

Affordable makeup – No need to break the bank with expensive brands. Work with what you have. David suggests Rimmel, L’OrĂ©al and Cover Girl. Less is better – Aim for natural beauty. Bring out your model’s best features. Have fun with the eyes – this is where you can use a heavier application for eyes that pop. For lips, use gloss for a youthful look and lipstick for a more dramatic look.
Mane stay – Attempt a hairstyle that interests you the most. Select styles that are natural and easy to do and that complement your model. Practice a few times so you know what you’re doing the day of the shoot. A fan set on a low speed will create discreet movement in the hair. If you’re shooting outside, break down a cardboard box and use that as a fan.

What you’ll need:

  • Sample spreads to use as inspiration
  • Makeup & hair styling products
  • Wardrobe, shoes & accessories
  • Props • Music • Healthy snacks and water
  • Friends • Backdrop (white bedsheet)
  • Computer with photo editing software
  • Camera (point and shoot)



Check out part 2 of this story