30 June, 2017 - Communication as a Creative Team

As a photographer, I have always felt the weight of
responsibility when it comes to executing other
people's visions or those of my own. At the end of the
day, blame will always fall on the photographer
if the client or the creative team is not happy with
the outcome of the images. It really doesn't
matter if the model was non-responsive to the
photographer's direction, or if the makeup artist
was having a bad day and the makeup was a mess,
or the stylist missed the brief and sourced the wrong
style of clothing or accessories, or heck even if it rained
half way through the shoot. At the end of the day,
after everyone has chipped in with their contribution
to producing the imagery, it is what the photographer
not only sees through their lens, but the way their
captured it through their exchange of energy and
direction, that ultimately is the glue that brings
all the elements together. So naturally, the vision
is brought to life through the photograph and if
it failed to translate, no doubt everyone is
pointing fingers at the photographer. Either we
are expected to somehow make miracles in
post processing to correct the makeup,
the bad mood of the model on the day or
the dreary weather on the day, the pressure
and burden of it all tends to fall ultimately
on the photographer "to fix it and make it

So that said, for me, communication as a creative
team is absolutely the crucial foundation in
breathing life to any project or concept.

For those who've worked with me, know how pedantic I can be
when it comes to communication and explaining ideas and concepts.
For most creative teams, using a visual mood board helps to
ensure that all team players are on the same page when it comes
to execution.

However, there have been a few times, I've run
into confusion when others have prepared a
Mood Board or Inspiration Board.

There are sometimes many photos, of all sorts of
styles and I have no clue what that photo is meant to
be referencing, as the lighting, mood and
styling direction of the images might be
completely different and opposite ends of the
spectrum. So for me, I usually ask the
creative who produced the mood board to
break it down for me. What do you like
about this image and that image and that one.
Was it the hair you liked in this image,
or the lighting and mood in the other image,
or the wardrobe styling of that other image.

So I thought I'd share here, how I layout my
Mood Board/ Call Sheet. Over the 9 years I've been
shooting, I've streamlined it overtime, elaborating on my
notes to the model or team, to ensure we achieve
the best results on the day.

So here is an example of the first page of my
Mood Board/ Call Sheet.


(c) Copyright Katriena Emmanuel 2017


The first page is basically a Call Sheet or Run Sheet for how the time
will be broken up on the day, with the team listed with their
contact numbers next to their name and notes I have devised to the model
on how to prepare for the shoot.

Following this page, I then layout my inspiration imagery.
After first writing a short brief defining what the theme or concept
is for the shoot. Then I break down the imagery under sub-headings such as
the following:







The subheadings can go on and on depending on
how much detail you want to break down to the team.
I find this way of categorising the inspiration imagery
helpful in narrowing down for each team member
where the direction is headed for their particular
discipline but also in comparison to the other fields,
so they can get an overall gist of the shoot's direction.

And as for catering food on the day for the team,
well my rule of thumb is whoever the shoot
is for, be it the client or who is the
creative director of the shoot and
organised it all, then the onus falls on them
to provide food for the team, be it
snacks or buy them lunch etc.
Although that rarely happens, then
if you're not providing lunch, it is just as
important you communicate that and
let everyone know to pack a lunch etc
for themselves. I often will bring snacks for
the model, just in case there isn't catering advised
as the model is my priority on the day, to make sure
they have the energy to give me their all.
Afterall, nobody wants a hANGRY
team on the day.

So hope this helps give people a level of
understanding of the different ways
to tighten up communication as a team.


#moodboarding #moodboard #katrienaemmanuel #goldcoastphotographer #beautyphotographer #Callsheet #Communication





(c) copyright Katriena Emmanuel Photography Pty Ltd all rights reserved