Photo Shoot Myths vs. Reality / by Nico Nordström

What to expect on set

When you think of a photo shoot, you think glamour, perfection, ease, models, amazing wardrobe, gorgeous sets, etc.

Well, that's not how it is all the time. In fact, that's rarely how it is. We’re going to dispel some myths about shoots here.

Myth #1
The wardobe is perfectly made, perfectly fitting the subject.
Reality:
-We use a ton of sample garments from designers. Sometimes the designers had to the throw the pieces together to make their fashion week runway deadlines. They look great on the outside, but not always what you expect on the inside. There could be pins holding things together, we once saw duct tape holding the inside of a bodice together. (That's right, silver duct tape)
-Sometimes the garments are too big or too small for the subject. We will sew and pin women into dresses, or use clips if the garment is too large.
-That super tall model may not actually be that tall, they could be in giant platform heels standing on a box.

Myth #2
The set is absolutely perfect. You could take anything and put it directly into your home.
Reality:
-Often we only paint one side or half of things to save time.
-The walls might have tape or other defects in person that get photoshopped out later.
-We will hand make props and other things, that may actually be a spray painted kids toy, or it could be made from Home Depot materials, that the subject’s holding.

Myth #3
Shooting on location or in an amazing locale, is a breeze, and the subjects are completely comfortable.
Reality:
-We’ve shot all over the country, all kinds of climates and terrains. Some of the things we have learned about these types of shoots:
-You might get sunburns, chigger or mosquito bites, or spend the day wet and cold or hot and sweaty.
-The subject may get a piggyback ride to the location because of wardrobe or terrain problems.
-Sometimes the location requires a few miles of hiking.
-Sometimes it's up a nearly 90 degree incline with mid-calf deep sand you'll be finding in your shoes forever.

Myth #4
Celebrities and models are perfection visually.
Reality:
-Proper makeup, hair, wardrobe, lighting, and posing gives near visual perfection, photoshop does the rest.
-Even celebrities don't look like that, they need a professional team.