Gabrielle Larsen is a photographer in the Pacific North West Region. I met her when she was the photographer for one of my close friend’s wedding, and I was their event coordinator. We stayed in contact after my friend’s wedding, and she has offered me a wide array of advice on various topics in or about photography. Gabrielle is a phenomenal photographer, who pours her heart and soul into her photos.
After I finished the three-part series “Getting Started” , which is all about conceptualizing, designing, and storyboarding ones photo shoot, I asked Gabrielle if she would be willing to give *photographers point of view on the subject. She gladly agreed! Here is what she had to say about the storyboarding process:
1. Pinup and Boudoir photography is a very intimate, do you think that someone who wants to have these kinda photos taken should have a clear understanding of what it is they are looking for with their photos?
Yes!! Pinup and boudoir captures the unique beauty of every person, its self-expression in an intimate way. I believe you should have a reason for why you want a session such as to capture how your body is during a certain season of life, maternity to show how beautiful a mother’s body is, grooms gift, modeling portfolio, content, and even just to have the experience of being confident with who you are. When you go into a session earnestly thinking of why you want to do it and what you’re looking to get out of the whole experience not just the finished photos, it can lead you to raw and honest self-expression. For example, knowing you’re capturing a boudoir for your future spouse as an intimate gift allows you to pose and express yourself differently than a maternity boudoir or fashion pinup. Be intentional about your whole look, your attitude, your energy, and utilize your photographers knowledge in the whole planning process to give you the quality experience and final product you deserve.
2. Does it make your job as a photographer easier when a potential client comes to you with a clear idea of what they are looking for?
It’s always more efficient when a client during a consult or early stages of planning a session comes to me with clear vision and ideas even if they start as simple or one strong concept. It allows me as the artist to shape their idea and vision into something that will fit their personality. I can come up with concepts for clients but when they give me what they want right away typically that means they will enjoy the session and final product more and also allows my clients to not have to stress during any part of the process or session.
3. Do you believe that photography is away of storytelling? If so, what are some key components someone should think about when planning a photo shoot?
Photography is totally a form of story telling and capturing moments and emotions forever. It’s important even with location to have a starting and ending. Most of the time with my sessions I plan out where an outfit will best pair with a setting or location and what emotions can be pulled from that. For example a key way to tell a story is making sure the emotions and personality you’re capturing of your clients blends well with where you’re capturing them. I could use a beach for an example, image two scenarios of a story, I could have a couple dressed up at golden hour creating an intimate and romantic mood. Whereas I could take a high school senior client with a bright and bold outfit in the afternoon with harsher lighting on the same beach to create a light and arie upbeat mood. Studio work is totally the same!! The furniture, setting, lighting, your outfit, all of these play a role in telling a story. Wedding days also should tell a story and that is easier because you’re following a schedule already lined out that has a strong beginning, middle, climax, and ending filled with different moods and emotions. I personally believe if you’re not trying to story tell or haven’t tried it with your clients you should because it makes the overall experience so much more exciting and your photos will speak boldly.
4. In my 3 part series “Getting Started” my first two articles discuss how to go about planning a photo shoot before approaching a photographer. Is there anything you would add to these articles for models to think about before approaching a photographer?
I wouldn’t necessarily add anything but compliment you on what you’ve already written. It’s so important to make sure you have professional hair and makeup done, even a natural look, so that when I photograph you it looks seamless! Picking out an outfit you feel confident and comfortable in is also extremely important because it will translate through a photo if you feel good in what you’re wearing. Make sure to ask questions in the early stages of planning with your photographer so they have plenty of time to answer, prep, or tweak anything for the session. I am so excited to read your third article and I hope all of this info will help clients have the best experience possible!!
5. Models and Photographers are a team. What are some things you’d like potential clients to know about your process for preparing for a photo shoot?