#ModelLife: Producing A Shoot

While it appears that many fashion models live in a perfect world in which everyone is dying to get a chance to photograph them, that's not always the reality. This past week I produced a shoot for some portfolio updates and I can tell you, firsthand, it's much more work than you know. So what exactly has to happen before you get "the shot"?

1. Come up with a vision

Start by pulling together inspiration and looks that you think can be achieved based on the model's appearance. In this case, I pulled looks from models that are most successful in my market. I took a lot of inspiration from Joan Smalls and other black supermodels to give me direction in identifying the components necessary to achieve the desired look.

2. Organize a Team

The first thing that needs to happen to ensure a quality professional shoot is you need to have a quality and professional team. This means troubleshooting every and all aspects of what is necessary to get the best shot. I started by finding a photographer. I spent weeks looking for photographers on Instagram, clicking through other models' photos and identifying the shots I liked most and the ones I think agents can market best. I reached out to the photographer first and confirmed some possible dates.

Next, I scrolled through my contacts to find a makeup artist (MUA), wardrobe stylist and hair stylist. They all happened to be people I've worked with previously and therefore this would be a great place to note how important it is to network.

Photography by Katherine Elam - Backstage at NYFW 2018

3. Confirm Shoot Details

After finding my team, I had to formally write up and send out all of the pertinent details for the shoot. I made sure to include time, location, photographer information, social media handles and the purpose for the shoot. I also sent out the images I originally pulled for my inspiration board so that all team members knew what look was trying to be achieved.