Tips & Tricks To Shooting Editorial Commercial Photography with Adam Freedman
Shooting commercial advertising fashion and lifestyle is exciting. I’m a high-energy and creative person, so it enables me to express what I see in each image and create something unique for each client. Even when I’m shooting something less interesting, I try to put something unique in the images and present everything in its most positive light. I tend to cross over in a lot of my work. We use terms like editorial, lifestyle, fashion and commercial as different, and they are, but you can have some of the elements of each in a photo. Shoot to the look the client needs, even if you are your own client. I like emotion in photos and it’s probably why I shoot a lot of lifestyle.
For this article, I was able to work with a couple of my favorite companies, Bikini Crush Swimwear and the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside. The photos are a mix of what I shoot for a swimwear client and images for the hotel, and just for my portfolio or the model’s portfolio. For the last year or so I have been shooting a lot of swim content. Understanding the client is critical. Bikini Crush is a luxury brand. Instead of a day at the beach look, I needed a more upscale location.
The model for this shoot is Devon Christenson from Elite Modeling Agency Miami. I chose Devon because her look fit the vision for the shoot. Looking at her portfolio she has amazing expressions needed for this. I usually work with agency models. Many of my clients require that the models come through agencies. This simplifies the billing and usage. It’s all resolved well before the day of the shoot. Working with experienced models in the long run saves the client time and money. The initial cost can be higher, but the productions move quickly, and we can get a lot more done.
I usually shoot tethered to my iPad. I can show an experienced model the general idea of what we are looking for using the iPad and they take it from there. Models with less experience require you to spend more time getting the looks you need and again the iPad is a huge help. It also lets me review the images as we shoot, moving the production along much faster. I prepare a board of sample images and I use it on every shoot as an inspiration board along with a posing guide. This will help you a lot with communicating with your model. I am high energy and talk a lot and do not have any trouble communicating. I have coached several photographers who are more reserved. A sample posing guide on set will make your life much easier. I use Pinterest for this.
The Grand Beach Hotel Surfside is amazing. It is one of the most stunning properties in South Florida along with the other properties they own. They photograph so well. There is so much available light, which makes it easier to plan shots and reduces the need for gear. Familiarize yourself with your location before the shoot day if possible. If you cannot go there, look up images online and hire a scout on large productions. I use an app called Sun Seeker that tells me where the sun will be. It’s a great tool to use to plan your locations around a property all day. Always try to match the location for a set to the light. If you cannot, then you need to have a plan of what you need to create the lighting environment. Not everything goes as planned on a production. Be always positive, be a leader. If a situation arises, resolve it. Do not panic.