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05:30 am It’s pitch black as I’m pulling into the beach on the day of our shoot. Today is the day when everything comes together. All the planning, scouting, casting and preparation are done. Talent, crew and client are coming together for the first time to create some great photos.
I huddle together with my assistants, as we go over today’s game plan – how we’re lighting this job; what their responsibilities are and what I expect from my crew. Make-up is there working on the first models hair and face, outfits have been decided on and we’re getting ready to get to the beach before sunrise.
06:15 am Everybody is on the beach. 16 minutes to sunrise. Chompin’ at the bit – still to dark.
06:31 am Sunrise. The athletes that are modeling for us do a couple practice runs. Exact spot is picked. Now it’s just waiting for the sun to climb a little bit higher. Tides on it’s way in, working against us – but the sky is crisp and perfect. Perfection happens when everything culminates.
06:42 am Ok, to be precise and according to the camera’s timestamp, 50 seconds after that, this happens:
Everything clicks (well of course the camera does), but so do all the other elements. The sun paints the sky, the tide is just right, the runner flies down the beach, product is facing the camera, in perfect stride and the client is thrilled. Perfection.
OK, so you see there’s a lot of details that need to be addressed and for an inspirational advertisement, the location is paramount. So how do you find that perfect location? You scout (or you hire a location scout). I prefer to find my locations myself. Remember, you need to think about more details than just the mere beauty of a place: When is the sun going to rise? Where is it going to rise? When is high tide? How far is the actual shooting location from the place you’re staging food, drink, products, outfits, ect? Will your crew be able to find you at 4:30 am in pitch black darkness? Got all those questions answered? Perfect!
It’s invaluable to actually be on the location personally to answer these questions and get a feel for all these variables. You can join me on the scout via the live periscope video that I recorded while I scouted this perfect beach (please excuse the audio quality on these mobile videos – it’s less than perfect, I’m working on making that part of my mobile video’s better).