Photo Shoot Production Case Study – Part 1

About two months ago I came up with a concept for a shoot that I thought would be fun to do. Initially it felt like just another idea that might come and go and never get produced because I was too busy. But the image was seared into my consciousness and soon I realized it would not go away until I shot it. It became a small obsession. So once I started the ball rolling on actually doing the shot I thought it might make for a good series of posts, documenting the steps we go through, putting the production together. In most ways this production was much like any other larger production we might do for a client… The only difference is that this was a personal shoot, so I was the client.

So here we go…

Once I had the concept I quickly realized that it was easy for me to talk about it, because the image was already finished in my head. But it may not be so easy for others who would become involved in the production to look into my head to see the same image. The solution was to get the concept onto paper so that others had a visual reference as to what I was trying to achieve. This made it infinitely easier for others to converse about as we started to put the shot together. This is something that is virtually always done by ad agencies when they are presenting concepts to their client. Then these same images, once approved by the client, are then given to the photographer and production team for the purposes of estimating out the job and then ultimately putting the shot together.

So in wanting to accomplish the same goal as any ad agency I did what they would do. I went to a company that specializes in doing just that, concept illustrations. The firm I worked with was Famous Frames, based in Culver City. We did the whole thing over the phone and through e mail. I had done a very poor stick figure drawing (I went to school for photography.. not illustration!) of the set up I was going for. I scanned it and sent it off to the artist

Preliminary Sketch for image - Los Angeles Photographer Dana Hursey

and then we had a conversation over the phone about the mood and feel I was after and about specifics and details. He then did a rough sketch for me to approve or indicate changes.

First Round Sketch by Famous Frames Artist Michael Lee for Dana Hursey Photography

And then after a final phone conversation he did a full rendering of the concept and e mailed it off to me.

Final Sketch ©2008 Dana Hursey Photography - Los Angeles California

I was thrilled with the artists ability to transfer the image in my head to an image on paper.

Step one one was complete and I could now easily start to have conversations with others about the shot and my goals!