Friday, October 10, 2008

Photo Shoot Day

I like to call these, field trips. For anyone that has never had to do nails on a photo shoot, I thought this would be a good chance to give an aspiring artist a few bits of advice.

First of all, be expected for a long day. Everyone always has the best intentions of getting done quickly, but this is never the case. Generally, if someone says the shoot will end at 5pm, it can go much later. Just be mentally prepared for that.

Keep a well organized and clean kit. If you have been hired to do manicures, don't stop at manicure products and implements. Be prepared for the worst. Bring as much as you can. I always keep some acrylic and forms just in case a models nails are a disgrace.

Work quickly. It's ok to socialize with the model. In fact, I find they are generally a tad bit nervous (even if they won't admit it). Usually, I'm the first person to spend time with them so it's good to break the ice. But, keep in mind the entire day is a ticking cash register. So get right to work, be efficient but don't cut corners.

Tell your model it's ok to be a whimp. If you are being too aggressive you need to know before you leave a mark on her. I always tell my models to let me know if anything is uncomfortable so I can adjust what I am doing before I leave a mark.

Don't pack up and run out just because you are done. Sometimes, it doesn't stop there. You may be expected to direct her hand modeling if you are comfy and familiar with filling that role. You also may need to fix a break or mistake. Just be prepared for anything.

Be efficient, friendly, helpful and out of the way... I find that these things will get you more work in the future.

So for today's shoot, I had to do three manicures and two pedicures. I think I finished the nails by 12:00 after juggling them with stylists, hair and makeup. I got to the shoot at 8am and got home at 8pm. Keeping in mind it was for our company so I do have to be there to give my opinion for our ads. Our Marketing team was there to discuss changes and suggestions.

All in all....a very fun, positive experience. Add emphasis on the FUN!!!

(writing from Santa Monica, CA yesterday)


Athena said...

Having been blessed to do a cover for both Nails & NailPro magazine I can say nothing happens fast and sometimes you have to be in the same position for a long time.
My experience with NAILS left me on the floor with a pillow in my lap doing p/w acrylic toenails. NOT comfortable. For NailPro I had a 13 y/o girl who had dueling cell phones! She must have asked me 30 times when would I be finished. She smudged her polish twice! She was a pain in the tushy to work on. All in all I would not trade my experience for the world.
Elaine you are awesome and I love your blog!

Elaine Watson said...

Love the stories Athena! It is amazing the crazy positions we find ourselves in at a photo shoot. On one of my covers, after the nails were finished, I had to stay on set to keep the nail art from getting caught in her hair. We had butterflies made from color acrylic on squiggly wire. Every time the poor girl posed the butterfly would be stuck in her hair! haha. We need a beautytech topic on "tell us your crazy cover or shoot stories". *wink*