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Professional Grade: Behind the Scenes of a Photoshoot

I didn’t participate in the shoot for the above photo, but I’m using the image from Agenda Magazine it because it helps to illustrate my point.

The above credits belong to the following team:

Swimsuits: Beach Bunny Swimwear, Maaji, We Are Handsome
Jewelry: Devon Leigh, Miss G, Nissa Jewelry, EZZA Exlusive, Blonde Ambition
Designers: Alo, Paul and Joe Homme, Brian Lichtenberg, Body Glove, EZZA Exclusive, Vintage, Backstage
Accessories: Mother of London, Agent Provocateur, Brave,

Stylist: Juliet Vo
Makeup: Pavy Olivarez and Maria Barrios
Hair Stylist: Sonia Resends

*The rest of the photos in this post are mine, from a recent editorial shoot.

Lots of times, people only get to see the finished images of any given editorial or photo shoot. Most folks have no idea HOW MUCH goes into getting everything right. Contrary to popular belief, the secret does not lie in the retouch. And as a professional, you don’t want to have to rely on retouching anyway. You should be committed to getting everything as perfect as possible, so that it can be seen with as little retouching as possible.

Although most, if not all professional photos are retouched (save for the Make Up For Ever campaign photos), there is an entire team of people who come together to make those images possible.

Stylist: Nia Dennis
Model: Polyanna

There’s a reason that I harp so much on the professional nature of a team… from models, to photographers, to stylists. Everyone has to be working for a common goal: to get the BEST pictures possible for the project. There is no room for selfishness, diva behavior, crappy attitudes and general tantrums. I’ve come up against my share of divas of late. But I’m always super excited when we’re all working together and making each others jobs easier. None of us would be able to reach our intended goal for the shoot, without the help of the other.

My mantra is, BE ON TIME, DO YOUR JOB, AND DON’T BRING YOUR PERSONAL ISSUES TO THE SET! It’s incredibly refreshing (and worth noting) when everyone else on the team has the exact same mantra. That’s when true magic happens.

Yes, the model still has clips in her hair. I take pictures with the primary goal of finding out how the makeup will look through the lens (which can sometimes differ from how it looks to the naked eye). Since we were shooting in natural light, I took her pictures in natural light as well.

The makeup is worthless without the hair. I’m always amazed at how Bianca can whip up the most FABULOUS of styles in record time. She’s a genius with a comb and a curling iron.

Sometimes I take a moment and look around, and watch everyone doing their respective jobs. It’s truly something to see. No one is laying about or getting in the way. Everyone has a function, and if they’re done with their particular job, they’re helping you with yours. When the crew is considerate, courteous, and consistent… everything runs so much smoother. That, for me, is what helps make the perfect photoshoot.

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9 comments

  1. I cant wait to see the completed images! As always love your work 🙂

  2. Thanks so much Shana! We had SO many outfit changes for this shoot… we were trying to keep up with hair and makeup. LOL. This shoot was a LOT of fun. Everyone gave it their all.

  3. BooBooNinja says:

    …popping in to say I enjoy behind the scenes shots and commentary. Don't want my lack of commenting to discourage you from doing so.ps Totally off topic: Have you ever done a step by step tutorial on how to enhance hooded eyes? I'm Asian and enjoy your ever-classy looks. I like how you don't try to make an artificial "crease" just under the supraorbital ridge of the eye socket. This newbie has been trying to figure out how you do your eyes. I'd appreciate any tips. 🙂

  4. Hi Boo Boo Ninja!I've never done a step by step tutorial for hooded eyes. I am quite fond of doing makeup on mono-lid and otherwise hooded eyes though, because I feel that everyone just gives up on the 'natural' shape of the eye and tries to make it something that it's not. No, I never draw an artificial crease. It looks just like that to me… artificial. I tend to just bring the color 'up' to enhance the natural shape of the eye. So instead of drawing a line along the lash line (which is a waste of time for a hooded eye), I will smoke the eyes well past the natural crease (which is hidden). Tell you what: Let me get a friend to model for me, and I'll see if we can pull together a 'pictorial.' 🙂

  5. BooBooNinja says:

    Aww, you're so good to me, Shahada!ps Do you find that the technique for monolided eyes and creased, hooded eyes differs? (I have a crease, with a small exposed lid.)

  6. Lol I still owe you a brow tutorial. I'm gonna shoot for tomorrow on that one. There is only a slight difference in the color placement on hooded versus mono lid. You just take the darker shade up higher on a monolid.

  7. BooBooNinja says:

    My day keeps getting better! Happy Saturday, Shahada.

  8. 🙂 I'm working on your eyebrow 'pictorial' this afternoon!

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