Although, I shoot a lot of events, sports, and travel photography (fast pace photography as I call it), I just got my first "high glossy" magazine gig. It will be to shoot a subject in the foreground with rail lines in the middle ground and an old historic train station in the background. The image should have enough negative space for text and a bit of balance.

My plan:

  1. Take a day trip prior to site and do some test shots for different composition ideas
  2. Determine 5 or so locations to shoot from: indoor, outdoor, focus on the architecture and detail, focus on the whole thing in one shot that will cover accent shots and the subject's head shot
  3. Shoot at the golden as a very light tasteful HDR and in one frame.
  4. Shoot with the subject in the image and without and attempt a composite
  5. Shoot a bit wider to give the graphic designer enough cropping space
  6. Shoot with and without flash.
  7. Ideally I might shoot at 30 mm, close enough that I can see good detail in the subject's face but far enough that I see the whole building.
  8. In terms of composition, the subject should look comfortable yet confident in their own skin and outfit, positioned so they're not looking at the gutter of the image, and a bit more "highlighted" than the building behind them.
  9. Client wants a sample "composition proof" of images before full blown out shoot with lighting and make up. I plan to send them the proofs within hours and discuss with their art director the best picks for the event.
  10. Maintain the same style/theme/post processing in the image I'm shooting so it's consistent with the overall document.
  11. Overall I'm hoping to give them 15 shots (they asked for 10), the extra 5 will be the 'extra' work or cover mock-up that I can provide

Any additional advice or critique that you can give from your experience is much appreciated!

  • 1
    30mm lens with what image sensor size?
    – JDługosz
    Dec 12, 2014 at 2:36
  • @jdlugosz APSC CAnon and Sony
    – dassouki
    Dec 12, 2014 at 2:36
  • 1
    Bring a longer lens too for close-up of face. You can composite over the landscape background, but not have a big nose. 50mm would "look right" (85 on full grame)
    – JDługosz
    Dec 12, 2014 at 2:40
  • 1
    I agree with @jdlugosz - longer focal length, e.g.85mm for portraiture type of images.
    – B Shaw
    Dec 12, 2014 at 4:59

1 Answer 1


I made this a public wiki so we can keep a master list

Work from a printed checklist. Especially with gathering all the raw-material images, make sure you get everything.

Shoot the model with a mild telephoto lens even if you want wide-angle overall, and composite. Shoot to plan on compositing: shallow DoF makes it easy to use select in focus in Photoshop. Have someone hold a white diffuser behind the model's head and shoulders, so you have a ready-to-cut isolated figure!

Have plenty of reflectors, diffusers, spots of improvised shade, etc., and people to hold them. Stands never work outside as even a breeze too mild to notice will turn your reflector into a kite.

Use them on the model: control lighting on the face. Fill-flash if reflectors are not working. (Off camera flash: angle the light with the face not the viewpoint.)

Sometimes it rains. Be prepared in case you need to urgently protect your expensive gear.

Don't leave anything behind.

Have bottled water, snack bars, napkins, first-aid.

Look for trash before shooting the landscape.

Don't fall in a ditch when looking through the viewfinder (ow!).

Always shoot bursts when people are in the shot.

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