I just had the longest continuous shoot I’ve ever done. 7 days non-stop.
What made it even more challenging was the fact that I was shooting an Australian summer campaign in some of the craziest conditions I’ve ever experienced.
One of the days it hailed six separate times. SIX! It was hectic.
Here’s what it looked like one of those times from the back of the boat…
Since I can’t really give too much insight into the campaign as it hasn’t launched yet down under, I’ll share some behind the scenes insights into how we were able to get the shots we needed.
Respond to the weather
It’s my belief that your story about the weather will hugely impact your ability to respond to what mother nature gives you.
Note that I use the word respond rather than react. Reacting to the weather mean you’re coming from a negative place whereas responding is when you stay positive and can problem-solve your way through it.
When I shoot a campaign, there’s always a lot of things going through my mind. I try to stay in the present moment while also thinking about what I’m going to do next and mentally checking off what’s already been done.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, it adds another photographic variable I have to consider and problem solve.
For a summer shoot like ours, the things to problem solve include:
- Change the shoot schedule to get the best day for each location
- Choose what direction to shoot based on the sky (apocalyptic vs blue sky-ish)
- Look for pockets of good weather and have spotters keep an eye on when the sun will come out
- Shoot at times of day when the sun may peak in below the clouds (sunrise/sunset)
- Use something that will make their skin looks sweatier
- Keep talent warm with hot drinks, down jackets to throw on between shots (while you’re chimping) and have them wait indoors whenever possible
That last one is really important because you want talent to be as comfortable as possible so that their facial and body expressions can read as “warm”. It also helps minimize goosebumps!
Luckily, the hail never lasted very long. In fact, the days were an every changing mix of hail, wind, rain, clouds and (thank goodness) sun. When conditions are like that, I stay ready to shoot at the drop of a hat.
I find it draining when we have to continually start/stop, but I can’t let it affect the shoot. At these times I dig deep to be able to create the right energy on set.
I’m ready to turn it on at a moment’s notice to take advantage of those times the weather is cooperating.
Putting it all together
After doing my best to problem solve on shoot, now it’s time to make selections and tone the images so that they feel like summer.
Wish me luck! 😉
PS If you’re interested to know where we shot, I’ll share a few location shots in my newsletter. Sign up here >
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