Creating my first international photoshoot was a challenging, but an incredibly beautiful learning experience for me. I grew so much as an artist through his experience. I truly believe that in the expansive business world we live today, we need to adapt to different markets. Therefore, getting outside your comfort zone, literally, makes you grow exponentially in a short period of time.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to produce and execute a photoshoot in a foreign country:
- Have a clear vision – Define you what, why, how, where. Answer every single one of these questions before diving into planning any photoshoot of your own. To me the answers had to do with creating commercial photography content for my brand new business venture (WHAT). I wanted to experience what it would be like if I was hired by a company overseas. I wanted international experience, and proof that I could deliver results (WHY). Networking and trusting things would work out were the gateway to answering most of my questions. Asking, researching; mapping; reaching out to people; interviewing models (HOW). I was visiting the North of Italy, from Milan all the way to Rome; but I knew the location for my target market for this type of work was: the TUSCANY region (WHERE).
- Social Media Networking – if you are starting from scratch, as I was, take to heart to reach out to models, models agencies, wineries, make-up artists, businesses in the areas I want to photograph. I can’t imagine doing a production of this time 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. The distances, and connections get shortened by the magic of social media.
- Clear Communication + Follow Your Timeline – Before and during the photoshoot it was important to be clear on what I wanted to accomplish with all the participants. I interviewed with the models beforehand; and we styled their looks and outfits. I created a mood-board, and timeline to follow that day. We stuck very closely to the schedule; yet we allowed for some flow as we created. The word professional can’t be taken loosely. Being a professional photographer requires you to show up, lead with grace, execute according to the plan; and delivery results.
- Hiring Professionals – Relying on professionals in foreign territory is a smart investment. I connected with a fabulous Model Agency, https://thealexmodel.com/, based out of Florence. They presented choices for female & male models. They connected me with the most amazing Hair & Make Up Artist. Also, they recommended locations, and business connections. Everything ran seamlessly that day, because the Model Agency stayed with us for the duration of the photoshoot. They presented the Do’s & Don’ts yet helped us stay true to the vision we had. Worth every penny.
- Face to Face Networking – When in location in Tuscany, specifically the region of Montepulciano; I took the time to personally connect with wineries and business owners. That was a vital part of the photoshoot production, as it allowed me to gather permits when needed, and also scouted the locations before the photoshoots; which was essential for the photoshoot. Connecting with business was an essential part for the creation of my first commercial photoshoot. Here is a link to two of the winerys featured in the photoshoot: Salcheto & Opificio16 ; also the airbnb link the beautiful home I rented for the first part of this photoshoot.
About the Photoshoot shoot:
A Tuscan Love Affair is the story of a couple that meets in Tuscany after not seeing each other for a while. She is a law student, and he is establishing his first start-up in Rome. They rekindled their love over a few glasses of wine, and realized they have been madly in love with each other after some time apart.