Some photographers have a reputation for being narcissistic micromanagers. Don’t be that guy. And I do mean, THAT GUY!
The megalomaniacal content creators have convinced themselves that they need to let the world know that they know it all, so that they can live out the fantasy of their ill-conceived ideas.
While I do have my moments, I try my best to ask everyone on set their opinions in real time as the pictures pop up on the screen. Just as photographers have good ideas about hair and make up, or styling, the grooming crew might have a great idea about lighting and the production assistant might come up with a perfect pose while distributing the morning’s dark roast.
If you create a positive and open environment where the ideas can flow, you never know where it will take you. You certainly don’t know everything, and your ideas are not always the best. You don’t have to take every contribution and implement it right away. You just have to compile everyone’s feedback and then make the final decision. And As long as you say yes to everyone once in a while, every member of the crew will feel valued and validated.
Plus, if you’re an asshole on set, no one will want to work with you, and it will show in the pictures.
Here’s a great example. I had a “brilliant idea,” posing a model in silhouette in front of a circular white beauty dish, and then lining them from the front by projecting a square over one eye. I set it all up, took the first photo and it looked very blah.
So, I moved the cockeyed square a little to cover most of the face and I still didn’t like it.
Then I started asking everyone what they thought, and then I decided to change the square for a triangle.
While it looked okay, it wasn’t great. Pablo Roberto, the stylist on the shoot, picked up on that. Spontaneously, he picked up a red gel from the tethering table and held it up in front of the main light, and the results were great. If he hadn’t felt empowered to jump in, this image would never exist.
Model: Julian Ross https://www.instagram.com/jross18/