Taking your ideas further

So you have all these amazing ideas but you don’t know how to take them further.

1. Mood board

Start off with one idea at a time, or several, it’s up to you and using pinterest or folders on your computer come up with mood boards or lighting, locations, outfits etc that go with your idea for each possible shoot. It doesn’t matter at first how many images you have for each they will get refined down or just spark more shoots, you could even end up with a series out of one vague idea.

Mood boards are good to have for any shoot they keep you on track and let everyone else on your crew know what your aiming for.

2. Tell someone

I find the ideas I tell my friends are the ones more likely to get completed. They may even be able to help you get what you need or want to help you in some other way, even if it’s just to ask you how the project is going.

I’m not saying to go out and tell a bunch of random people or to put it all over the internet, just a couple of close friends. I tell my husband first of all the ideas I’ve come up with and he gives me honest, sometimes sarcastic, feedback I can use to grow each project or reject it.

3. If money was no object

This is my favourite bit, if money was no object what would you do? Would you fly everyone to a remote island to shoot or hire a whole circus? Thinking like this let’s my mind wonder and dream up big amazing ideas, yes some of them are impossible but doesn’t mean they will never happen just means I’ve got to get creative for now until the impossible can be made possible, and that brings me the the next bit.

4. Now remember you have a budget

Time to come back to Earth now sadly and remember that you do have a budget. Look at your idea as a whole and think how you could do it on a small budget, a team of people could be good at this point. Will you need to travel, if so how far, what about props, clothes etc etc Think about the favor’s you could ask for from people, thing’s you could borrow, all of this will help with your budget.

Once you have a list of things you need and the bits you won’t need to pay for you can then take the bit’s you will need to pay for and work out what sort of budget you’ll need for each shoot.

5. What will you do with the images

What are the final images for? Are they for a client? A gallery? or just some fun to keep you going? Figure out what will happen to them at the end of your project, it could help to shape your process and your ideas.

Some ideas of what you could do with the end images:

  • Write a blog piece about your project
  • Send it into a magazine
  • Put it on your website and social media
  • Print it and display

6. Schedule, schedule, schedule

Now the ideas are sorted it’s time to plan out your deadlines. Figure out:

  • what you’ll need for the day, all your equipment, outfits and props and when you’ll need each item for before the shoot.
  • Where you’ll shoot, maybe you’ll need to spend the night? so need everything sorted a couple of days in advance.
  • Who will be with you on the day, make-up artists, models, assistants and have a back-up for these ready, yes sounds harsh but I’ve been let down at the worst times. Make sure the needed details for the day are given in advance and confirmed by everyone before the day.
  • Most importantly the ultimate deadline, the shoot day.

On top of scheduling your time running up to the shooting day you’ll need a timetable for the day itself, thing’s like:

  1. When the model/s will turn up
  2. If anything needs delivering on the day, when will that need to be there
  3. when will hair and make-up turn up and how long will that take
  4. when will you need to have the lights and first test shots done by
  5. when will everyone take a break
  6. when will everyone be leaving

Don’t leave too much or too little time for each item how long you spend on each is up to you but a few days is good enough depending on your schedule, I always add about 2 days to each task leading up and 15 minutes for each thing on the day for any problems or last minute jobs that turn up.

Personal projects are lots of fun and really help to develop your skills so be daring and creative. If something goes wrong see it as a learning experience if it all goes right celebrate with some wine. Got any ways to help people with there projects? Let us know int he comments below, and don’t forget to check out my facebook and instagram to see some of my personal projects.


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