Several months ago, when everything about the infamous coronavirus was so unknown and there was barely anyone outside doing photoshoots, photographers started to look elsewhere to refuel their creativity. That’s when a famous fashion photographer, Alessio Albi, first set the stage for photoshoots done over Facetime.
Portrait photographers were in such awe that so many took it to Instagram and YouTube to try it out--myself included.
This is what I did to prepare before the shoot (once I had a model):
In retrospect, these are some things that I wish I had prepared for prior to the shoot to make the photo shoot run smoother.
The biggest hurdle I was faced with was my verbal communications (and this is coming from someone who had a college major in mass communications). I could not believe how much I relied on my in-person physical movements to direct someone when posing them. The fact that the model was on the other side of the video call staring into a tiny little iPhone camera while I attempted to figure out a way for me to verbally explain what I wanted them to do was more challenging than I thought.
In terms of photographic quality, understanding that the iPhone camera (while has advanced to a spectacular quality over the years) is still not at a professional camera lens' quality. At first, on my first Facetime photoshoot, I attempted to simply use the iPhone screenshot method where I would just screen shoot each frame and asking my model to try and hold as still as possible since I knew the iPhone would try to catch the shot knowing the shutter speed on that shot wasn't going to be as fast as my camera.
But I quickly learned that the quality of screen shooting was not the quality I wanted.
So, the second time I attempted the Facetime photoshoot, I used my camera and man-oh-man was the difference HUGE!
Overall, this experimental project was a great exercise for me as a portrait photographer to better understand how I communicate and learn to give better direction to avoid awkwardness, stiffness, create more motion in my images and create more fun and flowy photoshoot for everyone involved.
Have you done a Facetime photoshoot? If you have or think you’re up to the challenge, please let me know in the comments below where I can see your work or if you’re on Instagram, tag me so I can see! I’m @katiechavarinphtography! Would love to follow along.