I’ve been to countless talent shoots over the years. Some have been great whilst others have been challenging. As such, I’ve developed some techniques to help ensure all goes well.
In fact, it was only last week that I was involved in a talent shoot with a group of athletes that had the potential to be a disaster. The main athlete was scheduled to arrive at 8am yet, elite athletes being elite athletes, they decided that morning that they needed to train (they actually did need to train).
However, keep in mind that this day had been planned for months. The studio was booked and the photographer, film crew ready and make up/hair people were all ready to go. Just to make the whole shoot a touch more on edge, this was the only day in the year we could access this particular athlete!
As you can imagine, the athlete choosing training over the photo shoot put a major spanner in the works. However, using the techniques outlined below we were able to manage the day so it was an outstanding success.
1 – Be Prepared For Your Talent Shoot
First things first; make sure everyone is well briefed. It is critical that everyone is well prepped and ready for the day. Make sure you have any props that will be needed (particularly if they are hard to come by).
2 – Understand The Talent Shoot Objectives
Everyone needs to walk into the studio/location with absolute clarity of what the objectives are. When you are dealing with expensive talent, there is no time for going over what the expectations are of deliverables. Everyone needs to be on-board and fronting up with their game faces on.
3 – Be Flexible
OK, so you got everyone prepped and all clear on the objectives. You have a tight running sheet and it all should go as smooth at clockwork, right?
You need to accept, as a certainty, that things are a very good chance of not going to plan. Not only do you need to be able to deal with this but you need to deal with them in good spirits (more on that in a minute).
Have a plan A, B and C and then be prepared to throw them out the window as well. At the end of the day, you need to deal with what you are confronted with and make sure you deliver on point 2 (your objectives).
4 – Be Enthusiastic
Your talent will take their cues from you. If they see you being enthusiastic and ‘on’ then they can follow the cues. If you are acting bored, and uninterested, playing on your phone etc, then be prepared for bored and uninterested talent.
5 – Keep The Talent Happy (as best you can)
When I think about how we were able to recover and make a success of our photo shoot, I must admit, being flexible enough to cater for the athlete to undertake their training earlier in the day allowed for a much more happy and amiable athlete during the shoot.
I’ve worked with talent enough to know that once they have satisfied themselves that they have done their training for the day then they are much more happy people. And much better to work with.
Turns out that our happy athlete eventually arrived and was able smash out everything asked of them in a much quicker time than we allowed for. Meaning that all objectives were met and all involved were happy campers.
Good luck with your next shoot. They are not for the feint hearted but can be significantly rewarding days for all.
So get out there, learn, share and get amongst it.
Note: Thanks to the Newcastle Jets for providing the above images for us to use. Please note that the athletes referred to in the above story are not the athletes in the images nor is the organisation referred to the Newcastle Jets nor the sponsor referred to is Linebreak.
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