Last week, I had the opportunity to shoot a teenage model here close to home. She wanted something different, with a barn, ranch, and horses; a kind of “Home on the Range”. I needed to find a location locally, that fit the bill and found San Pasqual Valley Ranch. This ranch is located outside of Escondido, near the Wild Animal Park and offers boarding, lessons, and events.
The first step in the process of using a new location is to find one; the second step would be to get any necessary permissions. Sometimes it can be as simple as just asking, while other times you will need to sign a release form, as well as pay a fee. San Pasqual Valley Ranch was the later, which was a good one. I met with the manager, who happened to meet me or horseback and he had no problems with me using his ranch for my photoshoot. One of my proposals, when using a location for free is to offer “Shout-Out” for the company and I usually do this by featuring the company/location in a blog with linkbacks. When I first saw the location, the barn is what caught my eye, unfortunately because it was facing the East, I knew that if I wanted good sunlight that it would have to be a morning shoot. And because the Ranch was in a valley with rolling hills, I could not shoot that early and I might want to bring some external lighting as well. You know my favorite motto, “Be Prepared”.
Since this model was a minor, not only did I have the parents sign off on the Juvenile Model Release form, but I highly encouraged that the parents be present during the entire shoot, even if you are a friend of the family. Another one of my mottos is: “CYA”. Having parents present also keeps the kids at ease and they are able tend to his or her every need. If you can share some poses for your model to practice before-hand, it always makes it easier. If the model is somewhat familiar with what he or she will be doing. On the day of the shoot, things will go much better. Trust me, there is nothing worse than trying to make someone pose or smile on demand. If they have never posed, I always copy poses on my cell phone/tablet just in case. And don’t be afraid to improvise, sometimes the best shots are made, when you don’t expect it. To make a long short, the model did a good job and we got some great shots.
I hope I have not bored you too much. I had a lot of fun writing this one like all of my blogs. I trust I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not a perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.