How to Get the Most from Group Shoots

For beginning, intermediate and even advanced photographers and models, group shoot events can be a very beneficial and cost effective way of expanding your portfolio with impressive images. Location rental costs, permit requirements, parking and security expenses and equipment fees are always handled by the promoter of the event. This saves you loads of time and hundreds of dollars over handling those issues and expenses yourself.

Here are four tips for success:

1. Location

Find a local group shoot event being hosted at a unique and worthwhile location. A well organized promoter will invite a healthy number of promising and attractive (beginning & advanced) models for photographers to work with, while also inviting talented and creative photographers.

2. Ask the right questions

Contact the organizer of the event with whatever questions you may have concerning the way the event is structured, its cost, location, number of models and photographers attending and any possible equipment requirements. Reserve yourself a spot for the shoot.

3. Photographer to model ratio

The “photographer to model ratio” of whatever group shoot event you plan on attending is very important. I would not recommend attending any group shoot event where this ratio is higher than three photographers to one model. Make sure the organizer discloses this ratio to you before you attend the event.  A two to one or even a one to one ratio is more ideal. These lower ratio events provide more “one on one” shooting time with whatever model or photographer you plan on working with, offering you a lot more opportunities of securing impressive images.

4. Networking

Make sure you provide your business card and forward lots of impressive images to those models who worked hard in assisting you with those great images. Getting referrals from them is in your best interest. Networking with other participants at these events is a terrific way of landing paid assignments and getting invitations to other similar group shoot events. Being congenial, having an upbeat personality and being “a team player” is paramount in succeeding at these types of functions, where the group benefits as a whole.

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Gary Abigt has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. He's a former USAF 'Alert Photographer' and NASA photographer with Rockwell International and General Dynamics. Gary is a studio owner and group photoshoot organizer, with close to 400 groupshoots conducted.

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