Planning a photoshoot with Covid 19

10 September 2021

Planning a photoshoot with Covid 19. Lifestyle Fitness, a very popular chain of gyms, with branches all over the UK, booked me for a photo shoot. As I have mentioned before, I am not only a photo editor, but also a photographer, so I jumped at this opportunity. The photos were for their updated website, as well as for print and banner advertising. My brief was to photograph models working out in a gym environment.

Planning a photoshoot with Covid 19
One of my biggest bugbears when looking at advertising with models, is that most photos fake. It is obvious to see that they are posing and not at all natural looking. We discussed my point of view, and we came to an agreement to shoot realistic and natural looking photos. It was essential that it looked like it happened in a real environment. A lot of advertising takes place on social media platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram. Advertisers are aware that mainstream adverting with posed shots are no longer selling.

Photos of so called real people in real environments are now the trend for adverts. We agreed the best location for the shoot was Leeds. It is a media hub, with plenty of photographic studios, model agencies and a great location. Managing the production was my job. I had to find a model agency, book a photographic studio and hire the equipment. Many phone calls and zoom meetings later we had everything set up.

Face Models in Leeds are amazing. They have an incredible selection of models on their books. Lifestyle Fitness selected an eclectic mix of people for the shoot.
We were good to go, and then we went into lockdown.. Our last zoom meeting was a bit of a letdown and we all agreed the timing could not have been worse.

Travel restrictions and a 10 day quarantine were mandatory for people arriving in the UK. I was out of the country at the time, and the mandatory quarantine before the photo shoot became a problem.
I mentioned this to the Lifestyle Fitness team, they decided we wait for things to get back to normal. Once the restrictions were cleared we would go ahead.

Planning a photoshoot with Covid 19

Six months later when things were easing up we resumed the project. Models were booked, studio dates were set. And the client had booked hotels as they were coming down for the shoot. I had decided that it was not viable for me to spend 10 days in quarantine. So I had started looking for a replacement photographer.

There is no shortage of freelance professional photographers to hire. But browsing their portfolios, I was not impressed. Most of the model shots looked like cardboard cutouts. Finding a photographer for the project was the most difficult part of the production.

Hannah Judah, a Brighton based photographer had contact me about some photo edits. Out of curiosity I had a look at her website. Her portrait photos were exactly the type of images we were looking for. I got in touch with her, enquiring if she was available as a freelance photographer to travel up to Leeds.

She said she was available, so I passed on her details to Lifestyle Fitness. They got straight back to me saying they liked her work. Finally the most important part of the production had been sorted.

photo editing

The photoshoot was a success. The feedback that I got from both the Lifestyle Fitness team and Hannah was positive. Four days later I received the final selection of images to edit.
To say I was disappointed that I could not be there to take the photos is an understatement.

It was a project that I really wanted for my photography portfolio.
On the plus side, I learnt a lot about planning and preparing a project. For me the best part of this, was how I managed it from a distance. We managed to get around the limitations that come with the Covid 19 crisis.

I hope you enjoyed this post, follow my blog as I will keep posting articles about my experiences about photography and my assignments.

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