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  • Writer's pictureGigi Gold

How does a Virtual Photoshoot work anyway?

If you're interested in this whole "virtual photoshoot" thing but are left wondering "how the eff does this actually work?"...I've got some answers for you!

ICYMI Virtual Photoshoots are one of the easiest, most cost & time effective way to refresh your feed WITHOUT going through the faff (excuse the British slang) of self portraits. And tbh TONS of the info is right on the Virtual Shoots page but I wanted to break it down in even MORE detail so you don't feel like you're going in blind because that doesn't make for a relaxed, creative environment. Let's take it step by step!

virtual photoshoot

1. Buy your Package

Ok, this is pretty self-explanatory, but this offering has NO discovery call like some of the bigger, in-person brand shoots do. That being said, you're welcome to shoot me an email if you have any thoughts/questions/concerns! You can choose between a one-off package or sign up to a 3 or 6 month subscription which gives you AMPLE new images to post each month, time to experiment, and really enjoy the process. You can also choose between a 30 or 60 minute session. The 30 minutes is a quickie, no time for outfit or location changes. Of course, you can add or subtract an accessory or two (think hats, sunglasses, jackets) and we'll definitely change angles in your space (think on the couch then in front of the window). The 60 minute package affords us a bit more time to play - you'll have a few minutes to change your full outfit AND set up in a new room in your space. You also get DOUBLE the final edited images when it's all said and done.

No matter what you choose, start by purchasing the package that speaks to you. You'll get a contract, model release, and invoice all in one easy spot.

2. The Pre-session Info

Once we're all set up with the perfect package, you'll be sent some vital pre-session information including a scheduling link so you can choose your perfect date and time. Ideally, we want to shoot in daylight in your time zone. You'll also get a prep guide that has helpful suggestions on location, lighting, any equipment (or substitutes) that will help us on the day! You'll get information on the app you'll need to download and what you'll need to send me in advance of our shoot. 3. Prep on Your End

Before your shoot, there are a few things you can do that will make the process tons smoother! Firstly, pick out what you want to wear - you can read a handy guide in the blog - and take some selfies in those clothes. Just prop up your phone and move around a little. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel confident? Does this match your "vibe"?

And speaking of vibe, if you're not exactly clear on WTF you want from this shoot, it's a good time to think about it. Do you want these images for a certain launch? Do you need a certain orientation of images? What kind of vibe are you going for? If you're stuck, create a little mood board for yourself on pinterest. For virtual shoots, it's best to be reasonable here - your location is likely going to be your home, so find pics of locations that look similar to the style of your house or furniture. But collecting 15-25 images from pinterest can help you AND me SEE what vibe you're going for. I always advise using a tripod for these shoots - you can get a larger one that has all the bells & whistles, or you can use a desk sized one, one attached to a ring light, or whatever tripod you've got and would be handy for other things in your life. It's definitely possible to NOT use a tripod, but tbh, the results are generally better and the process is TONS smoother if you've got one.

4. Choose your Location

Most virtual shoots will take place in your home or work space. I've worked with clients where we've done outdoor shoots and some even rented a studio space to change up the setting. Whatever you end up doing, you'll need good signal, ideally a fast Wifi connection, but good regular ole data will work, too.

virtual photoshoot

As mentioned, natural light is the BEST for these shoots. We're shooting on your phone (more on that later) and the quality is best with natural lighting. So find yourself a gorgeous window in your home & create some nice scenes around it. Make sure you're not going to be backlit by the window - you want to FACE the lightsource. You can also augment lighting with a ring light or a video conference light, as well as lamps or overhead lights, but natural light will be our BFF. When choosing your location, you'll want to find (or create) a space that isn't too distracting visually - it's worth taking a few minutes to move visual clutter. This can be things like cords/cables, stuff on your desk/dresser top, shoes or clothes laying around. We're not aiming for a show home, we're aiming to make sure YOU'RE the focus and the more clutter, the more distraction.

5. The Days/Week Leading up to your Shoot A couple of top tips given by my client, Holly, are about taking care of yourself. Aside from choosing your outfits, communicating with your photographer, and doing bits of location prep, you want to take really good care of yourself. Up your water intake in the 3-5 days before the shoot. Extra hydration will help your skin glow AND help your lymphatic system move through any excess water weight or puffiness (not that those things are inherently bad). Get good rest, move your body, and work on that mindset. PLEASE DON'T try new skincare products or get too much sun exposure and avoid fake tans. I can edit out a zit, but if you're redder than a tomato or oranger than an Oompa Loompa, there's only so much editing can do to fix troubled skin.

6. The Day of the Shoot

Today's the day! You've got all prepped with your outfit and mood board. You've tidied your space & gathered your gear (phone, tripod, lighting). You've downloaded the app & sent me your model ID. Now what? First thing's first - take a deep breath! It's natural to feel a little nervous before ANY photoshoot. But this one is even weirder because we're basically on a video call and I'm taking your photos. But you can't see yourself OR the photos that are being taken. You're alone in your room, but a photographer is calling out new poses or changes. If it helps, set up some music (on your laptop) to play quietly in the background. As long as you and I can hear each other, background music can help get you in the flow. At the time of our call, all you have to do is click into the app. I will enter your model ID and this will connect us. If there are ANY technical issues, we'll be connected on Voxer to troubleshoot. Once we're on, we'll spend a couple mins chatting to get you in the zone, and I will begin to direct you on how to set up your phone. I'll talk you through how to adjust your phone to get the perfect shot. The first set up takes a few minutes, but once the camera is set, we'll shoot shoot shoot!

As your shoot progresses, we'll pause and make adjustments. You'll change outfits/accessories, you'll change locations, and we'll change the camera's orientation so you get as much variety as we can fit into your time slot. How this works from a technical perspective is we connect on a video call where we can see/hear each other. But when I take the photos, I'm essentially "hacking" your camera. I'm NOT taking a screenshot. On my end, I click the shutter but it's YOUR camera that's taking the images. This means the quality of the images is as clear as your phone can take images! We'll probably be using your rear facing camera (higher quality) so you won't be able to see yourself - this is where I will help with all the camera and posing adjustments and tell you exactly what to do. You also won't see previews of the images - once we're done with the shoot, I'll get the images to download & edit for you. An important note is that you CANNOT delete the app until I receive the images. And sometimes it helps to leave the app open as it can take a while to transfer the images to me.

Once your time is up, we'll take a minute to reconnect on the video call, I'll give you some quick reminders of what's next and you'll carry on with your day!

virtual photoshoot

7. After the Shoot

As mentioned, the app we use will send all the photos directly to me - I'll download them and begin editing the best ones. Once I've done my magic (usually about 1-2 weeks later), I'll give you an online gallery to view - you'll be able to automatically choose the number of images that are in your package and download them right away. Even better, you can get the WHOLE gallery of images for a really super-steal price so you're not limited. Or if you're feeling analog af, you can even order prints right from the site and get them sent to your home!

Then, it's all on you to post & share as you want! I'd be absolutely stoked if you wanted to tag/credit me in any posts you do so I can cheer you on.

What are you waiting for? Go check out the packages & portfolio and let's get shooting!

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