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Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 21 of 38

Working with a Team (Snapfactory)

Mark Wallace

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

21. Working with a Team (Snapfactory)

Lesson Info

Working with a Team (Snapfactory)

We're going to talk about working with our team and as we're doing this I'm gonna invite the snap factory team to come out here and we'll have a chat and this is open dialogue by the way so we're gonna talk about how we met what we did who is doing what and why we're doing that let me just talk to you about the normal team that you would have a cz part ofyour commercial photo shoot so normally you're going to have an assistant of some sort we're gonna always have an assistant now the assistant should be somebody that's very knowledgeable it should be somebody that isn't learning on the day of the shoot so for example celestine hey john can come and be your assistant at creative life well, I knew john and I said awesome let's bring him in he's perfect um so that's why we had john come around now let's say I didn't know john and uh they said, hey, we're going to have joe schmo come in I would have said I don't know because I don't know how they move how they go so that's that's what we r...

eally want is someone that knows what they're doing and they have to have a great attitude I mean they have to have the best attitude because they're going to be doing stuff that could be considered grunt work have you you picked enough eminem's have you noticed by the way john's attitude for this workshop have you noticed is great, right? So john's picking up in minimum she's fixing my problems with my camera he's fixing cables, he's moving screens never once does he go? Uh, I'm above this never john's the kind of guy that you went around right then you need a makeup artist to make up artist is very concerned with things like the color palette that you're working with the style of lighting that kind of stuff. We talk a bit more about that you need some of this doing your wardrobe like aaron down there um and they have to know what the intent of the shooter's is a conservative or sexy or funny or what? Um, and then you're going to need a producer. What a producer does so kelsey's air producer her job in any producer's job so less is a producer for creative live they are the boss, really? They're the boss of the shoot, they keep the team on task, they're able to be bad cop if needed, so sometimes you'll have, um the photographer sometimes need protection from the client. It sounds crazy, but sometimes that happens or the talent so the producer will do that, and so the other thing that you'll have is an art director or client michael used to hire us so we used to work for michael back in today so it's sort of interesting that now he works at snap factory but he used to be the art director that hired us and we would do a shoot with him um normally what we do is we keep our clients in a nice restricted areas so they don't interfere with shoots but michael's not the client or the art director anymore um and then the last thing that normally we have it our photoshoots is a runner that used to be a run right so it's somebody that can uh anybody with a credit card in the car can do this job basically and it's uh oh my gosh we forgot to get a stand go get the stand all right and they get the stand um but any time you have a really time sensitive shoot a runner is a must college students are great for this and if you're looking to break into commercial photography that's probably the place that you can start is not the assistant but the runner the person that just goes and get stuff because a lot of times you just sit there and you're hanging out until somebody goes wei have no eminem's all right so now what we're gonna do want to move this out of the way since we have the entire team here um we have a few minutes and I hope you guys aren't terrified no way had discussions about if this was gonna happen it up so I never introduced you seem and then we're going to do is we're going to take questions from everybody that's viewing and we're an open book there are very few things that we won't talk about but we're an open book to talk to you about how we work as a team who's doing what and how we do things now I'll have to say um our team is unique there's never there's not gonna be another team ever like this again and each different photographer has a different team so this is diane she is my wife we founded snap factory together she is a makeup artist and a professional photographer on dh in the role that we're talking about today she's going to limit her conversation to her role as a makeup artist uh this is kelsey hazelwood she is our producer she runs the show and you'll find out more about that is michael ham he is our digital media producer all things digital she's has video editing he uh does all the pds that you saw that were downloaded he does that he does uh brand identity he does animations he does what don't you do you want lots he's he's uh creative sweet guy that's what he is and then aaron marcus is our wardrobe stylist and creative director and officially our first employee so I know it's so, uh, we've we've known, uh, erin and michael actually longer than we've known kelsey, but kelsey has been working for us longer than erin michael, so weird. Anyway, what questions do we have for snap factory? From the live audience? There was a question from brandon bully who asked how do you manage everyone's time on set from the makeup artist stylist, the producer on the photographer all want time to make sure everything is perfect. Um, kelsey and I could talk to that. So from my perspective, um yes, it may have noticed this today we plan everything and we figure out what time is needed to do everything. But when it comes to, like here's thegame day and we're on all of the responsibility shifts to kelsey and she is in charge she's in charge of making sure everything happens and her job is to, uh, basically let me clear my mind of the responsibility of managing everybody else and it's her job to do it. Yes, that's very true. Uh, yeah, I mean, a lot. If you guys could talk on the internet at home to the students um his marks that I play the bad cop sometimes on shoot days and you know, that just means that mark has a lot of stuff to be doing and I need to make sure we're on time I need to make sure diane gets me the model on time I need to make sure the wardrobe is right and then if mark's having any technical issues I also have to troubleshoot those so he doesn't get too flustered to be able to work that's true on dh kelsey's training regimen is pretty heavy duty everybody's training regimen heavy duty these guys are in training constantly on dh sometimes they push a little bit too hard probably like get this done but there's lots of training so one of the things I was going to tell talk about that we forgot to talk about was yesterday morning I said there was this dialogue that kelsey and I were having so do you want to talk about that? Sure beginning of the show yesterday I just could tell that mark was off he was flustered things were moving smoothly there were cables on the ground um you know what the first time with our crew working with a different crew so I called our break thirty minutes early mark first was like why did you do that? I I thought we were behind schedule and I'm like you're ahead of schedule but you're off your teaching is failing compared to what it could be and you need to calm down but that's that's the blind spot right that's that's how you have to trust your team so and so it was true that that some things were going on I was like, man, I I'm trying to do things that I don't think I should be doing and I'm thinking about trying to move things on and off and the plan isn't executing and I started to think more and more and more about the planned and the teaching and it started to show I don't know if it showed to you guys I think probably people that have watched for a while and my teaching could see it and so uh kelsey knew she's like okay, we need to stop this because it's just going to spiral out of control and as a photographer, you know, you probably aren't gonna be doing a same kind of thing but as a photographer that can happen in a shoot when you have to trust your producer and your staff to say you see something I don't and I trust you and I it was true and we reset if you go back and watch the re watch, you'll see a change after that first break you'll see it happen but yeah, you were like r so it wasn't bad it was bad no uh it was just wasn't his way have secret signals diane we have a ton of makeup question all right s oh, well, first of all, a question from philip ross and was did you all plan your wardrobe for today's appearance on creative life? They love the the shirt color nation, you know, I think we had a conversation, you know, we wanted to wear things that had no logos and, you know, and we're not in most of our wardrobes are pretty much black, which isn't good on video. So we decided jule tones, but there was not a memo about purple or gray specifically just happened this way. Looks good at work, so thank you, but so question is from sam cox do ah, makeup artists have special training for photography. Specifically, there are schools that do, uh, training for makeup artists, but I learned from watching the pros in new york when I grew up in new york and was painted pr in fashion for awhile and learned from my p r roll watching the amazing ations because, you know, models don't walk around every day looking like finished models. Um, and I saw some amazing things, and I said, I got to know how you did that, and so I would watch them. Um and then when we started the studio we needed to make up artist, I thought it would be great to pick up all that stuff that I had learned on sets and start applying it and doing it myself um, I do work under the entertainment exclusion in our state, um, so legally to do commercial work, you do not have to be certified cosmetologist or hair stylist, but I don't cut her color hair. I just style, um, I don't do weddings for this reason I'm not licensed, but legally I can work on commercial sets. My training has pretty much all been hands on, and honestly, you can go to all the schools in the world, but if you aren't doing it, hands on, you're never gonna learn the techniques, and you're never going to develop a cz an artist. So it really is about getting that hands on experience. Another makeup question. Embera would like to know how long a typical, uh, makeup artist session should should be prepping a model. How long should it usually take on a photo shoot? Huh? Depends on the shoot. I don't know if typical is the right word. I mean, I can tell you that on our commercial shoots it's, usually about an hour for hair and makeup, for just me to work on them. Uh, if I have a hair person doing hair and I'm doing makeup and we could work at the same time, that's reduced, it also depends on the kind of styling, whether it's if it's highly stylized editorial fashion stuff and there's a lot involved, aaron and I work together and um and it can take an hour and a half or two hours um and I've been on shoots where it's actually been longer on other shoots, we also budget differently based on time, so for example, when we shoot it, larger studios that are more expensive specifically well, there are some studios that we shoot in that charge hundreds of dollars per hour, and so you have to do the math and say, okay, if you're paying three or four hundred dollars for an hour of studio time and it takes an hour and a half to do hair and make up and you need to be done in an eight hour day what's worth it toe higher second makeup artists and hair stylist for an additional six hundred dollars to save three hours of time. Yeah, you just saved yourself three hundred dollars because you're not paying for the extra time that you would spend we're going into overtime, which is usually a time and a half, and so if we have heavy duty multiple model shoots on a time constraint, it doesn't financially make sense to only have one makeup artist in one hair stylist we have to have multiples because in the long run you actually save money on the rentals than then spending money so it's it's all that stuff when we're doing budgeting teo work those numbers and also on commercial so I've done commercial shoots on locations that I literally had ten minutes to do a face and sometimes that you have to do so ten minutes an hour and half just spence all right, another question from oh leave us alone was here with us yesterday uh makeup can be different in many ways and colors how can you portray your image in your head to your makeup artist? Ah feel like makeup is great but not what I was looking for at times but he's saying I don't personally know makeup so I'm assuming that that person knows more than I do had we struggle with that tell you that um so we figured out how to dio because I don't speak the language of makeup just like my my potential cries out of that one so well happens is what I'm trying tio say this is how we want to make up that's why I have the magazines I just say here's a picture of what I want that's what I want cheesier yeah, just a picture there it is yeah if you if you are a photographer or you're just somebody who doesn't know make up try to find actual examples even if it's just I like these eyes or I like these because if you tell me edgy or crazy which I get a lot ok you want me to make you look like you're in an asylum that you're confined because that could make you look like that but I don't think your client really wants you to look like that that doesn't mean anything to me so and and when you work repeatedly with certain photographers like obviously mark and I work a lot together I'm a makeup artist a lot on his shoots um I know when he says natural he doesn't really mean natural I know what he means by natural so photographers have when you have developed a relationship with a makeup artist you kind of learn how that person communicates as well so you becomes almost like your own little language of sorts but um most makeup artists do work repeatedly with certain photographer's because it adds that much so find somebody who's experienced who understands who can do different kinds of looks um who shows that in their portfolios that they have lots of a range of different styles that they know and understand and then show them pictures because they'll be able to figure it out from that all right one of the questions that we got that I want to make sure we answer because I thought it was really good somebody wrote in and said how did we a symbol our team um and so I'd love to talk about that so uh kelsey graduated from college and then went to war once ugo I went to a six month internship at wired magazine in san francisco and what is my favorite magazine fired blanks and I twitter stocked mark and diane for awhile because photography was a hobby and then mark stalked me because I worked at wired that's right? So that's how it feels to get a job well that's not how but she actually interviewed yes she interviewed in with your whole process and we did some things but uh yeah so twitter is how way found kelsey and we were talking about this year the day and uh we're talking about do you need a degree or not to work in the business? And kelsey said without her degree she would never be working for us and I thought, yeah, that's probably true because it was the internship that gave her the credibility for us to go and hire her and her internship it wired was almost exactly the role that we were looking for at snap factory at the time and then she just blossomed and grew into the producer that we didn't know that we were getting so way have this incredible employee who want to silver tika hee sam of r e I want a teakettle she got the employee of the year award but that's how we met kelsey um diane and I met on match dot com you're not making up a story every time people asked how it he gives he makes up another story so true match dot com mr dot com she tell me way started the business before we got married. Yes, almost right after we started dating. And on our first date when we first met face to face, people were mistaking us for being married. Are you so weigh started the company, one of our first clients was a regional retail chain that did close and products and stuff. And the art director of the art director. So michael was the art director, and so he hired us, and aaron worked with michael. And so we worked together for a couple years, something like that. Um and, uh, and I are getting we were saying one day we're going to grow enough to hire those two yeah think their company took advantage of their talented a awesome, awesome talents. So eren left the company and we hired her on a part time basis. And then, um a couple years later, michael left the company. We hired him. And so now here we are. So that's that's how we got our team, there was a few years in the making and matt who's not here on graduating from film school, so matt got his job in this is very important. He has a degree in film and editing. He knows final cut, he knows the process, he knows how to frame, he knows that are working and he knows, right? So he's not just somebody walked in off the street? Um, he interviewed from michael's job before he was out of college and we said, man, awesome, but you're in school, we can't hire you, we need a full time person and so he finished school and we were in the middle of chaos. We had so much work to do, and so this is before aaron rejoined us, she took a leave of absence, and michael and kelsey, I made it very clear to me that if we don't get help there's gonna be problems. There was a conversation where they're like it's on waking some help, and that same day I was walking around and matt sent me an email saying, hey, I'm out of school, I'm working harkens theaters, I hate it. Do you have anything that you could possibly use me for? And I thought, yes, I'd be perfect, no phone number. And so there was two days before I got a remote back, so always it was it was education and a great interview, but he kept with it. And so it was it was about a almost a year from the interview till when we hired him and he stuck with it and he finished his education and now he's working for a part time and in boston so I don't know if he's watching so don't let it make your heads bigger better being better all right all right that's really good story. Thanks for sharing that, um question from a coal for michael how's your media storage handled at the office and studio like network drives raid etcetera sure so we dio our main at it big is mac pro way have four base filled in their two terabytes each and then we also back up toward robo and then two weeks pie o too I went to kelsey and mark and I said all right, so come september we're going to need more storms so and it you know, your data management is important and you know, there were tools out there drove bo has built in tools that's how I knew to say look, this is what we're going to need by the time you know we're two weeks back into our regular studio schedule uh we're gonna need more storage so um it's uh yeah, we used robos attached teo the edit bay which is like a city smack pro and we've filled those four bays we do have separate scratched disk for all of our final cut and separate disk for storage of our day to day and then storage for ah, for backup also on that on that mac pro. So, yeah, the drug was been used constantly, and the other thing that we do is if we shoot for commercial client, um like shay home, they get a hard drive with the final files. And so a lot of people asked, what about offsite storage? Is that important for you and it's weakening? We can't do it right now for a bunch of reasons, but, um, all of our clients have a copy of the final output of their work. And so if if we burned down literally, the studio burned down, our clients have their final stuff, they'll have that. Okay, we have a question for aaron from philip rawson. How does the wardrobe stylist acquire articles of clothing and accessories like goes on howard, how our decisions made on what style to get? Is there an insurance requirement when renting clothes from department stores? I'd really appreciate more info on this process. The models don't dress themselves. So can you first describe your storage facility? Um, well, that's actually kind of funny, I'm a shopper by nature anyways, so I collect. Tons of stuff without even having anything to do with specific photo shoots I have two full closets to rooms dedicated to this tons of stuff plus I like to make stuff too, so add that all in and then for specific shoots I do actually go out and get specific wardrobe from four specific shoots so it all depends on the shoot what is the next one I'm going to say your storage facility I do have I do have a storage unit specifically forward room too yeah, they have a warehouse warehouse not to mention that actually have crafts room with beads, material backgrounds all sorts stuff killers yeah and pull letters yeah can can you describe a pool letter because that's the thing that's really important for people understand what that is how it works yeah, talk to us about that. Well, um and actually usually is used on print publications um we have a pull letter we actually send that to the media director and get the approval to pull wardrobe and then we actually usually show proof of insurance as well they will not let us pull without proof of what is the full letter. Something doesn't know what well it does attached to our portfolio so you can't go in without any experience you definitely have to have a portfolio proof that you have been doing this for a while a company that backs you what not and it actually just asks for permission to use certain stuff usually had the day before to pull, and then you bring it back the next day, you basically guarantee that you will bring everything back just the way you brought it or you will pay for it. Yeah, so you got a paint store and say the person in charge here's a letter saying here's, the shoot here's what we're using this stuff for years, how your product is going to be used, here's, the exposure that you're getting here's our insurance hears when we want it, and we guarantee you're going to get it back with no damage or we're going to pay it. And do we ever have to get a credit card? Is a deposit sometimes sometimes personal. Sometimes corporate depends. Yeah, um, okay, we have, I think time right now for a little bit over, but I think I have time for committee. Two more questions because javier has got one, and then we'll do one more, and then we have to take a break. Just how important is it to you for you to be able to communicate with your team on the things that you're not gonna communicate a mood board style board or treatment that that sort of aspect? How important is there? How do I? Is that a tool that you use or uh, yeah, so the tools that we use you see us do this later today, we're gonna actually do some planning, but the big court bored with all the different cards, we look at that five times a day, at least we're constantly looking at that board on dh shuffling stuff around, but for specific ideas, we'll look at a card it's ok, we're going we're gonna make a video we're going to do shoot on x on dh then we have a conference area that's a big table, a big, huge tv that can hook up to a laptop and we normally say everybody into the conference room. We go in there and we'll lay out magazines and my little moleskin notebook little cards, mind maps, all that stuff that we just showed you and we just hash it out over and over and over until we know that everybody's on the same page. And we usually I know everyone on the same page as I asked him to show me. Okay, what, michael, what are you doing out of this? Okay, I have to do a pdf on this, and I have to do, uh, designed for this and here's the color palette and create and we we make sure everybody has a list of deliver balls basically and um and then we review those over and over again to say ok yesterday you would say you have this done and communication is is an ongoing process all right, last question from you guys okay question from brent what is on your wish list for snap factory's future people or equipment or ability who's that one for for anyone or all of you what's on our wish list what is on your wish list for snap factory's future people or equipment or ability video studio any mirror that's not a fun house mirror it kind of worked from the heat I think that uh the long term plan some things that we're working on michael and I are playing around with some long term things so publishing has taken a turn from print to digital media and so on are medium term list which is six to eight months maybe a year at the max uh we're working on doing is to be able to enable our company to do um interactive applications on tablet devices so we think that our ability to provide that is going to be pretty specific were also refining our workflow um some of the animations and stuff that we're doing I think that's a big thing we're looking at doing better networking so we could do higher speed transfers specifically for video and stills to share assets we're out of space, we need a new studio we're just you know, cramp that's why we have an air conditioner has been spending money on some place that we're leaving, but we don't know that we can leave because it's very difficult to find something that's affordable we have that we're trying to revamp our educational space so we can put in more students and have better teaching facilities we have uh on the list of things that we'd like our days off and be great more travel we want to do more things on the road we have some plans to take workshops across the country instead of being on lee online and only in phoenix we have there's a lot of stuff I'm starting magazine day and starting a magazine is it starting to shoot? Yeah it's public public knowledge is starting kelsey starting to shoot because he is shooting she shoots tens of prada photography and b roll a lot of the projects. One of the things that I think it's important understand is as it as an artist who has to deliver lots of content and a high quality continually uh these guys do work that I get credit for and so they're creating a product that gets my name put on that and that's pretty common for for artists that have to just do a lot a lot of stuff, so yeah

Class Description

Join Mark Wallace as he dissects a commercial photoshoot to reveal each step at its most basic level. From technical aspects of lighting and color, to real-world experiences working with art directors, make-up artists, models, and other professionals, you’ll have a firsthand look as he puts each piece together to complete several complete concepts from start to finish. This unique course explores the fundamentals of commercial photography, from the smallest jobs to the biggest productions. Bring your questions from your own shoots, or use this experience as a roadmap when planning your first jobs. Mark will be chatting with the live worldwide audience throughout the weekend!

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Snapfactory Color Theory

Snapfactory Lightroom Workflow

Snapfactory Workflow Example - creativeLIVE

Snapfactory Model Release

Snapfactory Commercial Shoot Workflow

bonus material with enrollment

snapfactory creativeLIVE overview

Snapfactory Purpose Worksheet

creativeLIVE plan

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Brian Geoghegan

Mark Wallace, Brilliant at what he does, so clear to understand, he is amazing, well done Mark great workshop, I learned so much. Thank you, kind Regards, Brian from Ireland


Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.

a Creativelive Student

I loved this workshop! Many things I struggled to understand about exposure and many other things became so clear! Just wow!