Photoshoot Mentoring Journal

Photoshoot Mentoring Journal

April 22, 2024 admin 0 Comments


Over the course of the semester, I will be mentoring my partner Danielle as a photo assistant for several planned photoshoots. My goal is for Danielle to become intimately familiar with a variety of on-set jargon and fundamental concepts as it applies to lighting, posing, and set design. My intended results are for Danielle to be capable of operating as a fully rounded photo assistant and secondary photography.

1-29-2024: Men’s Traditional Portrait – Self-Portrait

As the first assignment of the semester and the first teaching opportunity, I decided to keep it simple by using myself as the model and photographing at the school’s studio. This was a great opportunity for me to run over the basics of equipment operation and set-up with Danielle. We briefed on the various pieces of lighting, modifiers, lenses, backgrounds, and auxiliary equipment such as light meters. I then proceeded to run the photoshoot as the model, by directing Danielle to complete the tasks to set up the camera, background, and lighting. I then had her operate as the photographer based on some example photos and pose ideas. Much of this information is already second nature to her but it was a good refresher.

2-12-2024: Couples Portrait

As this shoot was done on-location, I knew a lot of the studio etiquette and expectations that I could cover with Danielle would likely not apply so the major focus of this shoot for my mentoring was communication with the models. After discussing a variety of simple posing ideas and a shoot plan, it was decided to operate the shoot under the guise of a “Double-Date.” As we were photographing two of our close friends this was a natural way to create a story for the photoshoot and ensure candid photo opportunities would arise. Over the course of the photoshoot, Danielle and I bounced conversation with our models very easily and I was able to display a number of spontaneous photo opportunities for her and I both to consider in the future.

2-24-2024: Bachelorette Shoot

This photoshoot was a great opportunity to go over the fundamentals of set building and light patterns. As the intention was to create a unique photograph for multiple individual models in one photoshoot. The perfect opportunity arose as our close friend was soon to be married and a photoshoot was a great bachelorette activity. It was decided the shoot would be done at the AirBnB they had rented, so a full allotment of gear would be required to complete this job. I was sure to plan this shoot well in advance and prepare days beforehand. This was a good opportunity to go over back-end stuff with Danielle like equipment checks and cleaning. On the shoot day, Danielle and I prepared our shoot space from the ground up and discussed some ideas with out models. One by one, I photographed our models while Danielle acted as a Grip and modified our lighting as needed. As our models switched out, I requested Danielle to set the lighting with basic jargon (Butterfly, Rim, High-Key, Low-Key) and allowed her to set the lights to the best of her memory. After completing most of the models, I had Danielle complete the final model as the photographer herself. Overall, a very productive and informative photoshoot.


As the final semester of my current college program, I believe confidently that nearly all the education I received, I have imparted to Danielle to the best of my abilities. Danielle is a naturally creative individual who frankly does not need the actualization of college to make her confident in her ability to create, a trait I revere and am openly envious of. Danielle has undoubtedly gleaned lots of information and formality with the field of photography and she’s the kind of supporting and capable photo assistant & partner one could only hope for. Engaging in teaching is great way to test your own competency levels and I strongly recommend anyone seeking to test their own skills give this method a shot.

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