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Organizing Group Photoshoot


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Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
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#1
First and foremost, I would like to thank the photographers who had joined my shoots. I must also thank Darren who gave me this opportunity to organize here on the CS forum.

When I set out to organize this shoot, I want to organize the shoot in the way I believe a shoot should be produced - to provide the opportunity for the photographers to create images they want to capture, and have fun doing it.

When I made up my mind to take on this challenge, a very good friend of mine warned me, that every single one of my trolls, the regular ones, the cloned ones and all their cousins will be scurrying out of the wood works to “slam” me. They did, but some for reasons that still befuddled me. And therefore, my friend stressed, that I should spare no expenses and do everything to make sure the pictures from the shoot is perfect. We talked about what can be done. After some thought, I decided I should do it in such a way to make this a typical shoot, in term of costs, expenses, available equipment and location. I could have provided portable strobes (will be a serious extra cost factor) or arrange of a private location (cost and availability), but fo the normal price/cost, this is not fair to the challenge posed by Darren.

I believe I have achieved most of the objectives I set out to do when I decided to accept this challenge. The photographers at the shoot had fun. I hope they had good images that they like. No one walked nor asked for a refund. I also learned a lot about organizing. One thing that is apparent, I do not enjoy organizing. Let me clarify this point. I had a lot of fun interacting with the photographers, but I rather shoot.

The original challenge from Darren was, to show how a shoot can be organized better. From this experience, I truly believe shoots can be organized in much better ways. However, I doubt I can nor want to do it, because, I am just not motivated to organize.

This is more a logistic nightmare rather than a creative challenge. Creating is much more fun and rewarding.

This is also an exercise to cater to the demands of others. I am designed to cater to my own whimps. I found having to satisfy the needs and wants of others a very daunting task. I think I did a passable job, but it was not an easy job.

I also discover that, there are also many factors that are simply out of my control. Weather was one. However, as an organizer producing a shoot, you have to factor in the weather. What to do when it rains, what to do when there is not a cloud in sight and it’s 11am. All the photographers are there waiting for you to pull the rabbit out of the hat to give them that opportunity to capture the killer shot. Pressures!

Finally, there is the model. I found this is the most challenging of all the variables, and in particular, how the model interact with the photographers. This is key. Even though in a group soot, every single image is in fact an one to one collaboration, no matter how fleeting that moment was.

My experience also led me to believe that, most of the shoots being advertised on this forum, can be organized better. There are so many details that needs to be managed, orchestrated and executed. A good organizer is a producer. No details can be missed. I missed a lot of them.

I am going to cut short what is already a very brief career. I just don’t have it to organize, nor want to, nor have the desire to. Those who wanted to join my shoot, or have joined and like to experience my idiosyncrasies more, pm me, maybe we can do some collaboration in the future, and have some fun together.

After all said and done, my impressions and opinions regarding some of the organizers remains the same. Many here who are organizing, they either lack the skills and mindset to organize or they just do not care as long as they can make a quick profit. Sad. However, I must tip my hat to the good organizers. I am not going to name names, but they are here, be it they are a very exclusive group, and most of them had retired, but they all delivered good shoots on a regular basis.

If I cannot do it better, that does not mean that I cannot hold an opinion or express such opinion freely and directly. To the dismays of my detractors, nothing will stand in my way, when a picture needs a slamming, or a shoot deserving one. This experience only made me understand better what needs to be done, and hence, I can really be relentless about it. After all, this is a push to create better pictures, better photographers. Don’t you agree?

One thing I sincerely hope but likely to be disappoined is, all the energies my collections of trolls had spent on slamming me, would that not be much better spent if they start channeling these energies towards criticizing constructively and honestly the works that had been posted here on CS, especially the P&P sub-forum?

Again, I have to thank Darren for this opportunity.

Just remember, you don’t need to be a good photographer to enjoy the photograph, and you don’t need to be a great photographer to slam a photograph.

Let’s go and shoot some more.
 

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AhV

Senior Member
Jun 10, 2004
2,140
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36
Northland
#2
I am retiring in 2 mins :) ..... A good organised shoot is tough, arent it ? lots of responsibilities to ensure GOOD images :sweat: .... some just dun bother
 

Jemapela

New Member
Feb 20, 2005
791
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0
Melbourne
www.jemapela.com
#3
I have been away for a long time from this forum, but knowing Deadpoet, I didn't think he would organise a shoot, hence I'm surprised to read this.

I agree with Deadpoet on his sentiments/feelings about organising a shoot, and this is why I have almost no interest in doing it. Organising my own photo shoot is already hard enough... scouting for locations, conceiving ideas/themes, styling the model, buying props, finding and negotiating with models, praying for cooperative weather, thinking of a back-up plan...

Just shoot me in the head.
 

aryanto

New Member
Feb 16, 2005
1,799
0
0
singapore
#4
You would not know probably those trolls could be from competitor (self or friend) who dont want new guy to threaten their business?
Organising is tough, I have done some (not photography related) and yes you cannot please everybody. There are always many who criticize.
There are also many who give you suggestion. I take some and for the rest I just say, nice idea, nicer if you told me earlier cos now I cannot do much regarding that anymore.

Something like: the egg is already boiled, sorry I cannot do scrambled egg now.
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
4,618
0
0
#5
I am retiring in 2 mins :) ..... A good organised shoot is tough, arent it ? lots of responsibilities to ensure GOOD images :sweat: .... some just dun bother
Another one bite the dust. Why!!!
 

liarliar

Deregistered
May 13, 2007
629
0
0
#6
As a photographer also dificult, more or less do the same.

Think of a theme
Work out models look, logistics, location, containment plan alternatives in case rain
Get model communicate on terms and compensation
Keep getting models if terms not reached or models don't reply
Align a timing for photog and models to shoot
Worse model not up to standard or expectation
...or hell moller never turn up on shoot day or handphone put on radio silence



Why some GWCs got so many photos in their portfolio?
Coz attend GWCs group shoot one time 4x models each moller can capture 10 or so decent shoots post process can post in the blog or personal photo sites already. :bsmilie:
 

scandal599

Deregistered
Nov 28, 2007
563
0
0
Escaped from Gotham Asylum
#7
Having read through what was put up by DP, I cannot help but feel sort of saddened by the fact that a lot of good organisers have given up on organising shoots.

I have not attended AhV's or even Melody-love's shoots before, but I sort of echo what liarliar says although I will take a lot of license with the GWC part. For that I will reserve the right and decline to comment.

Organisers are not there only ensure the safety of the model, they are expected to "produce" a model that is worth taking a photo of, and in return, as photographers, we are the directors of the shoot. Angle, perspective, composition and what not. Even before a shoot, we have to think of how we want to portray the model. While I personally believe that every model is worth their salt especially experienced once like Serene, Magdalene, Jess and Jocelyn are worth the time and effort in taking their photos, if there are matters that are overlooked, it can make or break the shoot.

I had attended DP's shoot for the Saturday batch with Isabelle. The Tangshooters went for the Sunday shoot with Haley. I had loads of fun with DP, Flipfreak, Tskye and DM. It was a learning experience as well for me which opened my eyes up to lot of things especially with DM and his knowledge. Special thanks to DM, DP, tSKye and Flipfreak if I had not said so before, for making this shoot a memorable one.

This was DP's first and final organised shoot as he had told me personally before this thread came up as he is a photograher and not an organiser. To borrow from DM's post, this is DP's first organised shoot and as far as I am concerned, it was a success.

But the sad fact here remains that a lot of good organisers have left the scene or I feel are about to leave the scene since I have joined CS in 2007 as a ghost and following the events till the day I started to post in CS in October/November 2008. It has been 6 months since I started portrait photography and it is still a long way to go for me. In the past, I noticed that there were many visual stunners put up on CS PP subforum. Is the current situation the fault of the organiser or the photographer themselves? While I think that it is a two way street, the question is essentially for us photographers. What is the image we want to create, how do we want to portray the model, what do we want people to see the model as. I have taken numerous frames, but god knows how many pcitures I have thrashed and trashed. My recent shoot was one where I basically just trashed all the pictures becasue I felt personally that the pcitures could not make it in my own portfolio much less online.

For the record, I am not thrashing any organiser or photographer for that matter. What I feel here is that many photographers seem to be just taking pictures for the sake of doing so without much thought to what is it they want to portray. I myself have fallen into that trap very early on now I am trying to dig myself out of the hole.

You can be the best organiser in the world, but yet if the photographer messes up, the picture will still out bad. I myself am no Herb Ritts, Leslie Kee or Geoff Ang but I aspire to be a quater of them. I firmly believe that as photographers, we should, no, actually we must make every model look their best and bring out the best in them in terms of their pictures, this is especially true of female models. There is no such thing as a perfect beauty, but every female can be beautifully perfect.

Here is to the organisers. For the work you have undertaken and the immense amount of pressure you have undergone from a lot of us...:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Leong23

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2007
3,187
5
38
within myself
#8
Oh.....I miss DP first and final photoshoot. :hung:

Although i never join any photoshoot before, but I second what scandal599 had mentioned, the photographer do play a major role.

A good organiser will get dishearted sooner or later when all the photoshoot he/she organised are full of GWC with no interest in taking good photo.

He/she will also feel sad when so many lousy photo taken from his/her photoshoot floating in the internet and some end up in those lewd websites.
 

luna_sea83

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2005
1,300
0
36
East
#11
Ahh.. ahV i miss your shoots, still 1 of the best organisers ard!
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
0
0
East
#13
ai yo..u flatter me :embrass:

psss..... how u get your 'senior member' ? :bsmilie:
Think you need 2000 posts and a certain amount of time as a member.
 

Feb 5, 2004
320
0
0
#15
The reason I gave up organising was more practical, namely the implementation of the "paid subscription" system. Perhaps at that time, there was less of the GWC people that you referred to.

Whilst I feel that some form of monetary recovery is inevitable, I think that the current 3/6 month type subscriptions poses quite a significant bar to entry.

I'm only an occassional organiser, and during the times I did organise shoots (sometime in 2004 onwards), I only did maybe once a month; thereby giving myself the capability to put more effort into each shoot, rather than mass production.

However, the current system would mean that such frequencies are no longer viable as it would not be sufficient to pay for the subscription. I've also heard other organisers say that they need to organise so and so number and rush towards the end, just so as to achieve the break even point.

I would venture to suggest that the "pay per shoot" system may be a good balance and compromise and that the Admins can consider bringing it back. I'm not quite sure why it was removed.

M.

Having read through what was put up by DP, I cannot help but feel sort of saddened by the fact that a lot of good organisers have given up on organising shoots.
 

Mar 5, 2006
262
0
0
#16
As an outsider to all these shoots, i feel a good shoot is one that is satisfying to the paying customers. While it may be good to have a great game plan, art direction, strobes, great weather, etc... All these would be secondary when the customers are attracted to a certain model, yearning to have her in his portfolio. For what? I dont really know.

The term customers is used because these are people from all walks of life. Some are old time film users with heaps of experiences, some are enthusiasts, some are hobbyist and some who just got a camera and some cash to spare.

Let not this DP org shoot be a bash out season. If there is any purpose left, let you be enlightened by the light - which is one of the key elements in every good image. By then, the focus is not about getting her mobile number and even to imagine dating her. Its about seeing a technically and artistically satisfying image which can be made into prints, towards the pursuit of understanding light, form and art.
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
4,618
0
0
#17
As an outsider to all these shoots, i feel a good shoot is one that is satisfying to the paying customers. While it may be good to have a great game plan, art direction, strobes, great weather, etc... All these would be secondary when the customers are attracted to a certain model, yearning to have her in his portfolio. For what? I dont really know.

The term customers is used because these are people from all walks of life. Some are old time film users with heaps of experiences, some are enthusiasts, some are hobbyist and some who just got a camera and some cash to spare.
Let not this DP org shoot be a bash out season. If there is any purpose left, let you be enlightened by the light - which is one of the key elements in every good image. By then, the focus is not about getting her mobile number and even to imagine dating her. Its about seeing a technically and artistically satisfying image which can be made into prints, towards the pursuit of understanding light, form and art.
This is where I may have a bit of divergence with what you are driving at. I agree with most of what you are saying.

Agreed, photographers whe join an organized shoot are customers. If we look at this strictly from a commercial stand point, all I need to do is provide what the customers want, and I am successful.

As a borderline fanatical hobbist photographer, I look at organising shoots more as a way to promote the hobby. And therefore, as photographer/organizer, a group that is shrinking, we have responsibility, and by just providing a photogenic model is not enough.
 

sprintist

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2006
5,343
1
36
Singapore
www.oddinary.com.sg
#18
The reason I gave up organising was more practical, namely the implementation of the "paid subscription" system. Perhaps at that time, there was less of the GWC people that you referred to.

Whilst I feel that some form of monetary recovery is inevitable, I think that the current 3/6 month type subscriptions poses quite a significant bar to entry.

I'm only an occassional organiser, and during the times I did organise shoots (sometime in 2004 onwards), I only did maybe once a month; thereby giving myself the capability to put more effort into each shoot, rather than mass production.

However, the current system would mean that such frequencies are no longer viable as it would not be sufficient to pay for the subscription. I've also heard other organisers say that they need to organise so and so number and rush towards the end, just so as to achieve the break even point.

I would venture to suggest that the "pay per shoot" system may be a good balance and compromise and that the Admins can consider bringing it back. I'm not quite sure why it was removed.

M.

perhaps the admins have an intention that the subscription would better encourage dedicated organisers than on/off ones. at least the price can configure a certain expectations from the organisers as suppliers.

otherwise how to satisfy all the gwc :bsmilie::bsmilie:
 

Darren

ClubSNAP Admin
Staff member
Jan 16, 2002
8,622
29
48
Melbourne
#19
Whilst I feel that some form of monetary recovery is inevitable, I think that the current 3/6 month type subscriptions poses quite a significant bar to entry.

I'm only an occassional organiser, and during the times I did organise shoots (sometime in 2004 onwards), I only did maybe once a month; thereby giving myself the capability to put more effort into each shoot, rather than mass production.
Hmmm interesting to hear that the subscription is a "bar to entry".

We see it as a "bar to entry" for those that are out to make fast buck by organising one/two shoots and then disappearing, and the aim of the long-term (read: potentially higher cost) subscription is to ensure that only those with long-term approach will want to sign up.

This phrase "However, the current system would mean that such frequencies are no longer viable as it would not be sufficient to pay for the subscription. I've also heard other organisers say that they need to organise so and so number and rush towards the end, just so as to achieve the break even point." is kind of a misnomer.

A good businessperson will have taken into account all costs involved -- in this case, subscription cost, model costs (estimated or within a range), logistics cost, etc -- and worked out how many shoots and participants per shoot is required to break-even and then onwards to being profitable. Not rocket science.

A subscription cost of S$195 for 3 months, assuming 2 shoots per weekend (total 12 weekends) breaks down to only S$8.12 per shoot. Cheaper than taking a taxi to the shoot.

Now, if an organiser pitches his/her shoot at a higher level (more exclusive, less frequency, higher cost per participant) at say 2 shoots per month, the cost of the subscription is hardly a major factor in the total cost involved.

Ok, that was kind of a long-winded post to say that we will not be bringing back the one-time subscription anytime soon - in fact, after calculating the potential profits being raked in by the organisers, I think its time for an increase in the subscription, don't you think? ;) Thanks for making me work out the numbers.
 

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