Heading to your next photo or video shoot? Whether you’re the director of the shoot, a model, an assistant, the client, or even the photographer/videographer, paying attention to detail is so important. Video and photo shoots can be expensive, so you need to make sure everything turns out exactly how you planned or envisioned. Your eyes need to be on their a-game on shoot day, and we’ve come up with a list of things to keep an eye out for. We also have pro tips, from professional photographer Jody Mader. It’s all about paying attention to detail!

Wrinkles in shirts

Make sure clothing is ironed before the shoot, and make sure your model’s pose does not cause any unwanted or unflattering wrinkles. Sometimes you literally need to iron out the details!

Lint rollers are always good to have on hand to make sure your shirt is free of any distractions!
– Jody Mader, Photographer

Graphic shirts

Try to avoid having your models wear graphic shirts. For instance, words on shirts can end up getting wrinkled/folded, or covered up (by jackets or blazers) and reveal strange (unwanted) messages. Also watch out for clothing with patterns (stripes, polka dots, zig-zags, etc.). These can get distorted by the camera or become a distraction from the image or message you’re trying to produce. If you’re really attached to a piece of clothing or prop that has a pattern, test it out before the shoot officially begins to make sure it will look good in front of the camera. Unless it is pertinent to the campaign or project you’re working on, make an effort to keep shirts with graphics on them away from set.

Posture of subject

Make sure your subject (model) has the desired posture you’re looking for. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to have a model look lazy, tired, or slumped over for an active apparel company.

To get people to relax and act naturally, I always tell people to imagine they’re taking a selfie. And, I’m the only one who’s taking the picture and can see it, so if you hate it, nobody else ever sees it again.
– Jody Mader, Photographer

Position of subject

Plan your video or photo out in advance so you know how to frame the shot based upon what information you need to supplement the photo with! For example, if you know you’re going to be using an image on a billboard and you’ve planned out the message you want to put on your billboard, use the rule of thirds to position your subject on the right side of the shot, leaving “white space” on the left side of the shot for copy that will eventually go into your billboard. Also think about how close or far away your subject should be from the camera.

Position of camera

You don’t want the camera to be positioned too high or low! You don’t want to look down or up on the subject, unless you’re trying to achieve a dramatic effect. Keep this in mind!

Background of subject

The background of a video or photo can be just as important as the subject itself – sometimes it’s even more important! Make sure the background of your subject is exactly what you envisioned, and you can get the right balance of focus on your subject versus your background. If you really want the focus to be on your subject, try using selective focus to “blur” out everything behind the subject. Or, if you want a more matter-of-fact shot, make sure everything is in focus.

Stains, smudges, etc.

Make sure your model’s clothes, glasses, props, etc. are free of stains, smudges, rips, or holes. It makes for one less step for the photographer in the editing process, which will save you time and money.

Shirt colors

Is your model’s neon colored shirt creating a strange reflection on your model’s neck and chin? Is there an odd glare in your model’s glasses? Try and eliminate any strange colors or reflections you notice as soon as you notice them. It’s safer to change out a shirt during the photo shoot than it is to change the color of the shirt in editing or have to edit skin tones in editing.

If you’re using a green screen, make sure none of your models are wearing green at all!

Make sure shirt colors and backgrounds are not too close in color – your model could end up getting lost or look like their head is floating! Always bring at l