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Photographer
Surreal Focus
Posts: 183
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Just curious

Do you generally work with a team on your photo shoots (MUA, hair stylist, assistant, wardrobe stylist, etc.) or is it just you and the model?  I know that depends entirely on the budget for the shoot and intended purpose but I am just trying to get a sense of those who like to work with a team or prefer flying solo and why.
Mar 24 13 03:11 am  Link  Quote 
Model
M A U I
Posts: 1,587
Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe


With the type of work I'm getting, it's really gonna be difficult if it's gonna be just me and the photographer.
Mar 24 13 03:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A-M-P
Posts: 17,310
Orlando, Florida, US


Surreal Focus wrote:
Just curious

Do you generally work with a team on your photo shoots (MUA, hair stylist, assistant, wardrobe stylist, etc.) or is it just you and the model?  I know that depends entirely on the budget for the shoot and intended purpose but I am just trying to get a sense of those who like to work with a team or prefer flying solo and why.

Team all the way

When I work with a full team I always get the best results. Everyone can just focus on their specialty instead of having one person doing it all thus perfecting details and making for a stronger final image.

Mar 24 13 03:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phil_Fernandez
Posts: 24
Santa Clarita, California, US


When I was still starting out...It was just me, model and mua/hair stylist. After a few years..... I now work with a full team to get my work published to help my career.
Mar 24 13 03:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Erlinda
Posts: 6,950
London, England, United Kingdom


If it's a big production then team for sure... But sometimes I don't feel like going all out and keeping it simple (depending on my mood) So I do shoot just me and the model sometimes. It's a more relax kind of attitude I get smile

Neither is right or wrong. I always get great results no matter which one I pick smile
Mar 24 13 04:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S de Varax
Posts: 7,265
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


team usually, although I currently have a project solo.
Mar 24 13 04:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,386
Beckley, West Virginia, US


Surreal Focus wrote:
Just curious

Do you generally work with a team on your photo shoots (MUA, hair stylist, assistant, wardrobe stylist, etc.) or is it just you and the model?  I know that depends entirely on the budget for the shoot and intended purpose but I am just trying to get a sense of those who like to work with a team or prefer flying solo and why.

I'm on a tight budget, so there's no team for me.  I have worked with MUAs and event planners in the past when I did some work up in NYC.  To be honest, even if I had a big budget, I'd prefer working primarily with just me and the model unless I knew the project was more than I could handle on my own.  A lot of that has to do with my personality and social dysfunctions.  I have problems with agoraphobia sometimes and function better with the least amount of people involved.

Mar 24 13 04:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Harris Photography
Posts: 485
Edison, New Jersey, US


Surreal Focus wrote:
Just curious

Do you generally work with a team on your photo shoots (MUA, hair stylist, assistant, wardrobe stylist, etc.) or is it just you and the model?  I know that depends entirely on the budget for the shoot and intended purpose but I am just trying to get a sense of those who like to work with a team or prefer flying solo and why.

For the work I like to do whatever hair and makeup the model can do is sufficient. I can't imagine having a crew of people around during a session, it would get in the way of the kind of interaction I like.

Mar 24 13 05:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JAE
Posts: 2,035
West Chester, Pennsylvania, US


I don't shoot for money typically.  I like to keep things simple so I do not shoot full teams.  If I had more budget and time I would love to, but I don't.
Mar 24 13 05:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BlueMoonPics
Posts: 3,481
New York, New York, US


It's just me.  Sometimes there's a model there.

I can't afford a team.  This is just a hobby right now.
Mar 24 13 07:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Yosh Studio
Posts: 1,162
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US


Depends on the purpose of the shoot. For a fashion story of course a team.

But, when testing agency "new faces" less is more. Many times the team just gets in the way of the girl. The clothes "wear" the girl instead of the girl "wearing" the clothes, and they disappear behind H/MU.
Mar 24 13 07:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Amy J Jones Photography
Posts: 524
Fallston, Maryland, US


It's wonderful to work with a team and I try to always have one now but when I first started I did most shoots with just me and the model (and I always tried to test with models who were pretty good with their own makeup!).
Mar 24 13 07:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Art Studio
Posts: 67
Carthage, Tennessee, US


Being that I am in a small town area and most of the MUAs and stylists etc would have to travel from 50+ miles away, I usually work alone with the exception of an assistant from time to time.
Mar 24 13 08:06 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Anastazie
Posts: 33
Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden


With a team.

I doubt I will like the output if it's just going to be just a photographer and me.
Mar 24 13 08:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 14,685
Orlando, Florida, US


Just me.

It's hard enough to schedule a model to shoot. And typically, there aren't MUAs and stylists who love doing this for no compensation as much as I do.

So, just like the new gear argument, as soon as I cannot achieve the images I want without a team, I will continue shooting without one.
Mar 24 13 08:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,060
Salem, Oregon, US


the wife and i work together on the shoots and every once in a while we also have a MUA. sometimes the model brings someone and they get involved.

team efforts can be good in that you can do fancier work. but it's also more to manage, more people who can flake, etc. sometimes it's nice to have it just be the model and the photographer.
Mar 24 13 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leon Bailey
Posts: 522
Orlando, Florida, US


I would love to work with teams on every shoot. Only helps out with my blog experiences. smile Doesn't always work out that way. :-/
Mar 24 13 10:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,291
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Solo...
Mar 24 13 10:35 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 5,632
New York, New York, US


Generally just the two of us.  Partly for budget but more because my studio space is so small that any unnecessary additional body just does more harm than good.  If I had a concept that absolutely had to have a MUA, etc. then I'd find a way to work around the problem.
Mar 24 13 11:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eastfist
Posts: 3,460
Green Bay, Wisconsin, US


Can't afford a team. If I could, it'd need to be a very trustworthy team, a well-oiled machine.
Mar 24 13 11:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
liddellphoto
Posts: 1,798
London, England, United Kingdom


Though I'm not a fan of big productions, a team (if I could). It is rare one person does more than one skill to a high level and it shows in the result. Usually MUA has to also cover hair (and holding stuff from blowing over) and I have to cover styling which is far from ideal.
Mar 24 13 11:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Getting a team together for a editorial can be (usually is) like herding cats.

Lately I've been keeping things simple and it's a lot less stressful that way.





Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
www.stefanobrunesci.com
Mar 24 13 11:59 am  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
MainePaintah
Posts: 1,521
Saco, Maine, US


A 3 man team! Me, myself and I.

Just me and a model, painting and photographing along, having a grand old time!
Mar 24 13 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,445
Santa Ana, California, US


Almost always there's some level of team when shooting.
Although I've shot with just the model when she had legitimate makeup skills (ie. she actually works as a makeup artist).

I prefer a team as it generally shows in the result. But yeah. 'herding cats' is exactly what it's like - lol. Project management can take more time than the shoot.
Mar 24 13 12:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,784
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


The only way I can get the quality I need for my clients or portfolio is with a solid MUA + hair stylist.
Mar 24 13 12:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,522
Plainview, Texas, US


Mostly solo, by choice and by circumstance.

Being well away from the main markets, a full team is just not going to happen for me. There are only a tiny number of professional-grade people in the area, and a "local talent" team can be far worse than no team at all.  I do have a couple of makeup and hair people I worth with on some projects, but that's about it.

While a team approach can lead to great work, it can also turn into an "art by committee' affair. And, as the old saying goes, "No great art was ever made by committee." A strong team with an inspired and inspiring leader can be a great thing, but it is also a rare thing.

So solo works for me, since I am really not interested in high fashion or other areas that call for the full-on team approach. My sessions are generally a tight collaboration between me and the model. Almost always we get pictures that please both of us, and sometimes we go far beyond what we could have done with a committee approach.

I'm fine with that and so are the people I work with.
Mar 24 13 12:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Albertex Photography
Posts: 13,830
Mansfield, Texas, US


Usually me and my wife.  Occasionally hair and/or make up and the occasional voyeur.
Mar 24 13 12:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lumatic
Posts: 13,591
Chicago, Illinois, US


A team, usually.  I can't do hair or makeup, and the wardrobe tends to fall short when I try to style it.  Of course, having an assistant is a big help as well.

I agree with Stefano, it can be like herding cats.  But it's usually worth it to me.  I know my limits.
Mar 24 13 12:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,191
Columbus, Ohio, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Getting a team together for a editorial can be (usually is) like herding cats.

Lately I've been keeping things simple and it's a lot less stressful that way.

This

There was a day I rarely if ever shot without a MUA. Now it's just the opposite.

Not to mention the words quality MUA & Columbus are difficult to put in the same sentence.

The later might be changing soon, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. smile

Mar 24 13 12:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 1,984
Los Angeles, California, US


I think it is crucial that whether it is one person or twenty, you know what needs to happen from the ground up.

You would never go to sea with a leaky boat and a production is like that.  If you have no help you need to scale appropriately so you can get it done at the level that you are operating at.  In this way low budget productions can often blow big budgets out of the water, because of the planning and fine tuning.

I have worked with large crews of up to 60 people and last week I did this video with just the model and a partner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSgHNXZteA0

We knew exactly what was needed, all of us are pros and we also knew our relative strengths and played to that. The video which is an art project was done in two days and apart from a few things I am happy with it as it stands.
Mar 24 13 01:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 11,533
Atlanta, Georgia, US


A team.  That is unless it's a be model test, then just hair and makeup; can't go too over the top for comp cards
Mar 24 13 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DarrylPascoePhotography
Posts: 451
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


If its a model shoot, a team every single time, probably wouldn't do a shoot without at least an mua unless I knew for sure the model was as good as the people I use. If I am doing headshots, its up to the client but generally just me, (possibly my assistant) and the client.
Mar 24 13 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
liddellphoto
Posts: 1,798
London, England, United Kingdom


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
Getting a team together for a editorial can be (usually is) like herding cats.

Lately I've been keeping things simple and it's a lot less stressful that way.

Looks like it doesn't change as you move up the tree then! It seems to you need good relationships with at least 3 people who do each (and a good mobile phone plan) to have a fighting chance of a shoot coming off. It is so bad I'm actually seeing if I can manage to learn some basic hair styling for the looks I like as a risk reduction strategy so if mua and hair falls through I can do hair and the model will probably have some basic makeup ability so all it not lost.

The other issue is that the hair stylist wants the hair to stand out, the mua wants the makeup to stand out and the stylist wants the clothes to stand out which can end in disaster or if it doesn't overstyled/disjointed series of pictures.

We can't all be a one man army like philippe sad

Mar 24 13 01:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Surreal Focus
Posts: 183
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Thanks to everyone who replied.  It was an interesting read.
Mar 24 13 02:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Swank Photography
Posts: 18,966
Key West, Florida, US


Surreal Focus wrote:
Just curious

Do you generally work with a team on your photo shoots (MUA, hair stylist, assistant, wardrobe stylist, etc.) or is it just you and the model?  I know that depends entirely on the budget for the shoot and intended purpose but I am just trying to get a sense of those who like to work with a team or prefer flying solo and why.

Usually solo.

Mar 24 13 02:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Brian T Rickey
Posts: 4,001
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Me.
I do make up
I own almost all the clothes in my portfolio, so I style everything
Except for hair, my hair guy rocks and I could not do this without him
Mar 24 13 02:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Yosh Studio
Posts: 1,162
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US


liddellphoto wrote:
The other issue is that the hair stylist wants the hair to stand out, the mua wants the makeup to stand out and the stylist wants the clothes to stand out which can end in disaster or if it doesn't overstyled/disjointed series of pictures.

We can't all be a one man army like philippe sad

This!
And, if you have real legit girls (great skin & healthy hair & good cut) you dont need the team to get great photos.

Mar 24 13 02:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mortonovich II
Posts: 700
San Diego, California, US


Well, first off, my goals are as stated on my bio- "I'm here to learn, practice my photo skills, develop my vision and network and am looking for like minded individuals." I'm just looking to develop my eye and book. Where that leads I really have no idea.

That having been said, the SINGLE biggest lesson I've learned is choosing better faces/models. I've shot stuff with a full team and mediocre model and it sucked ass whereas no team and a good face produced great images. So for now, I really don't care about a team; I'm more interested in personality and character.

I suppose now that I've gotten better at the casting end of things that adding a stylist would be the next step. I'm not opposed to that but really, trying to jive just two people's schedule is already a pain in the ass.
Mar 24 13 03:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
H A Z E
Posts: 82
London, England, United Kingdom


ChiMo II wrote:
That having been said, the SINGLE biggest lesson I've learned is choosing better faces/models. I've shot stuff with a full team and mediocre model and it sucked ass whereas no team and a good face produced great images. So for now, I really don't care about a team; I'm more interested in personality and character.

+1

Mar 24 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Matt Duke
Posts: 121
Cypress, California, US


My only assistant is a light stand with a sand bag. I'd like to use a MUA, but it's a little too difficult for me to coordinate since I always shoot on location quite a distance away.
Mar 24 13 07:42 pm  Link  Quote 
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