Being a photographer at times, can be a lonely path if you're trying to do everything yourself. In the early and middle stages of trying to become established, can be a make or brake situation. Being able to work on a shoestring, can be hard to get the right look for clients, its like using a mobile phone to shoot a wedding, at the moment, you can’t get the quality into images of light and shadows in my opinion, some would say it is possible with the new phones, which can produce RAW images, but the file size is what allows you to get the very best from an image in post editing, which is maybe why most semi or professional cameras now offer 42MB’s per an image, have large ISO that doesn’t show pixelated images so badly, which means if your working indoors, you can use the natural light coming in through widows. Lighting is an important factor in the studio and not so much outside, but gives great effect to images.
All of this can be expensive initial outlay, not including lenses, triggers and reflectors, to mention a few things. But you need to build that portfolio and get it out there to be seen by potential clients and most importantly, learn your trade and fine tune your USP style. if you have all the kit, you need a subject, a location, and unless your looking to pay for both of these, you need to look at alternatives that can work for you and others, via collaboration with models, MUA’s, hairstylist and photographers.
The Dream Team
I think the story goes, that a few photographers got together and looked at how best to get people together and work on a project, that everyone benefits from. Today the group has nearly 90 members, made up of photographers at all levels, models new and some just been doing it for shot time, MUA’s that maybe just qualified, hairstyles building on their talents, all looking to get better and build that all important portfolio.
As a group, your sharing ideas, knowledge, learning, building friendships, and as a group you support each other and always act professionally in every situation. Everyone is giving their time with the ultimate goal to make stunning images and as a group share them with each other.
I joined the group earlier this year, I’ve been to two events, which one was a stately mansion house, and recently the Wells Cathedral Bishops Palace. There's been a lot more events, but for health reasons I’ve not been able to attend.
It takes a lot of planning, and most of the group get together for a face to face meeting once a month to look at ideas, work out what the theme is going to be, sort out the schedule, all the kind of things that a big shoot needs to have covered.
Model: Erika Milankavo MUA: Leilani-Chyna Thomas
When it comes to the photographing in a place thats new, we all scout out the place to make our own decisions on where we want to photograph the models when they arrive. Everyone looks after each other, so we make sure that all the photographers get to work with all the models and mindful not to take all the time up with just one model, everything works in sync and calmly.
Model: Meggy Stiby MUA: Bonita Osborne
The group gets new people all the time and for some models, this could be their first real shoot, and the same can be said of photographers and MUA’s, and it can be overwhelming, but everyone makes each other feel comfortable and makes the new ones feel like they’ve done it before as theres never any awkward moments, this is because we all work to the code of being professional at all times.
When the day comes to and end, we go out separate ways, an then wait for the photographers to post their images. When everyone has had a chance to look at the images, its nice to get feedback and if someone feels you could do something to improve upon what you’ve posted, then its taken onboard. Critique is something a photographer needs to be able to take and process, but you're not forced to make changes, but it's good to see anothers perspective on an image.
Model: Jessica Stiby MUA: Bonita Osborne
Having a group like this, is great, because it brings all sides of photography together who have the best qualities of being able to work together in a professional way. There are times when views or opinions are not shared by all, but as a group it's not about pushing things to one side without listening and seeing if there is a compromise that can be got.
Model: Keith Bristow
The Dream Team is like a real production company, the difference is that non of us get paid, but the group is getting recognise for its work. I believe an online magazine has shown interest in doing a page per a month with the teams work, plus doing a bio once a month on a member of the team, also to be added to the magazine. It’s only by the hard work thats done by all that the group has got to this stage, and it speaks volumes on the work thats created by them for them.