What is a test shoot?

Christine Headshot My test shoots are low key off the cuff collaborations, and sometimes we get great work! This test shoot is also great for everyone, not just me, the MUA for example can see what its like to work with me; Perhaps I am to demanding? The model can see if I too creepy to work with, do I know how to direct?

Here is what I look for in general of everyone:

  • On time:
  • Communication:
  • Personality:
  • Experience: Can they deliver what they promise? Do they give me what I ask for?

And now let me dive into a few specifics of each person I work with:

Assistant: Are they able to predict my needs? Do they notice out of place items. Can they setup the equipment? Do they watch the monitors and let me know if I missed focus? Do they see my battery is getting low and have one ready for me. Do they know how to suggest lighting change or lens change?

Britt-Kay-and-Keona-bts MUA/Hair: Do they follow my specific rules (mostly for beauty). Do they follow through during the shoot or do they just leave? Do they make adjustments during the shoot? Do they watch the monitors and look for details? How long do they take for a look compared to other I have worked with. Is the rate they charge equal to the results and time? Example: one mua tells me they charge $400 for one (1) look, and they take 2 hours. – well, their results were equal to my go to mua who charges $100 for the same result in 45 minutes.

Brilliant Emily Model: Is the model prepared? Is the model complaining in makeup? Does the model tell the MUA how to do her makeup? How long does the model take to change their clothing? I don’t wish to pay a model hourly when most of the time is spent in the changing room. Are they experienced? That is, do they know how to pose/move, right speed, slowdown for flash, then jump to next pose. Do they have the skills/tools to manage their looks? How to hold hands, where to place hands, or do they just stand there? Yes I do direct, but I don’t micro-direct, I direct the intent and mood of the shot, I let my models also be creative. I have one model who can knock out a look book in 1 minute flat for an outfit, front, back, sides and not repeat poses from the other outfits, and maintains consistency in theme.

Stylists: Is the stylist catching wrinkles? Are they clipping clothing back, catching stray threads? Are they jumping into the scene and adjusting for every shot? (yes, I want this)

This information is valuable in selecting the artists for my paid shoots. Ever since I have started following this, I have not had a bad shoot nor anyone not show up for a shoot. Because I only work with people who conduct themselves in a professional manner.

This might me right or wrong, but it works for me and I hope this helps some people.

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Mike Bradley

Author: Mike Bradley

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