Lessons From Our First Photoshoot

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Last Christmas, we did a photoshoot! We don’t know why it has taken us this long to share it with you, but it was definitely a learning experience. Here is what we learnt from this experience along with some of the photos from the shoot!

DETAILS:

Photography: Mohini Ufeli (@mohinii_u) , assisted by Lex Ash.

Makeup: Oyime Jemitola @makeupbyoyime

Location: The Jazzhole, 168, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. (You should visit!)

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CLEAR YOUR DAY

I have always had a lot of respect for models, but something about posing for the camera sounded easy peasy- as long as the person being photographed was a willing candidate. Eh. Not quite. There are logistics involved, especially in Lagos. Our shoot was scheduled on a weekday because our time was limited. MeeMee had people to catch up with, and I had to go to work. Work ended at 2, so we scheduled the shoot for 3? Or 3:30? Bad idea. A mistake you should never make. When everything is so squashed, any hiccups in one thing can have the rest of your day fall like dominos, which is kind of what happened with us.

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BE SURE ABOUT YOUR VENUE

OMG THIS. If you’re going to do a shoot at Freedom Park, you need permission and I think you need to pay. Lekki Conservation Centre? 20K, the last time I was there in 2014. Some places don’t ask you to pay, but they may not be shoot friendly. I originally chose a place that was cute and cozy, and where I knew we’d be comfortable. The Cafe Neo on Agoro Odiyan, where we have had NITC about 3 times. We communicated this to our MUA and photographer. Oyime got there early, only to find that the Cafe was locked. Welp. So, we had to think of a Plan B and we went to The Jazzhole on Awolowo Road.

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KNOW THYSELF. HAVE A CLEAR VISION AND CLEARLY COMMUNICATE IT

In all things, knowing yourself is a major key. I do not like having to pose for the camera except it’s a very special day and then, my grin is from ear to ear. My fake smile is VERY fake, and I didn’t want that. The idea for the shoot was- two best friends just grabbing lunch or coffee, and having a photographer capture it like said photographer is invisible. By the time we were done with the candid photos, and having a nice time, it would not be so weird- and I’d be ready to pose for some headshots to be used on official stuff. WELL. We did not communicate this well enough. It was also really important that our photos be light and bright, but because of the sudden change in venue, Jazzhole is the opposite of light and bright. It’s quaint and cosy, but not great with the lighting.

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DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY.

You could say that our photographers got carried away with the possibilities of the space- I was alarmed when MeeMee was on the stage posing with a drum. We got some good shots out of this, but we did not completely achieve what we had set out to. I did not have any headshots I’d like to be on my business cards. The pictures of me and of us that I like, our faces aren’t really showing in full frontal view.

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CHOOSE YOUR PROFESSIONALS WISELY

Now, the photoshoot opened my eyes to a lot of things and I’m really thankful we had Mohini and Lexash. We already knew Mohini, and my stress would have hit extra levels if we were going through everything with someone we did not know from Adam. Asking around for photog suggestions, I was warned about a few people- that they were great but not professional. In communicating with some photographers then and thereafter, we just weren’t feeling the vibes- they didn’t feel like people to rely on.

Our MUA, Oyime- is really good at this makeup thing! At first, it took a while to get used to having my face done, but it wasn’t overdone. Loved the outcome by the end of the day, after the shoot haha.

Mohini & Oyime were professional, and unlike us, they were actually on time. Welp.

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BE PROFESSIONAL

Don’t be that person that doesn’t want to pay for services. People talk about creatives not being paid- but people don’t like to pay for anything. Photoshoots start at 20-25k per hour and up. Because we started late and had our photog waiting for us, we paid for the extra half hour. I guess, we could have saved our money and made it a little awkward by squeezing on our friendship, but we are happy we did not do that.

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STAY POSITIVE AND KEEP YOURSELF COMFORTABLE

Your photoshoot day is not the day to experiment. Sure, things may happen, but have a clear idea of what you’re wearing, what your hair is going to be like- I didn’t. Feel free to go shopping sef, if all your clothes are annoying you. In my case, I wanted to seem pretty casj- and in all situations, casual or not- I’m comfortable wearing a bold red or purple lip. This time, I decided to be more casual and I did not feel comfortable at all with the lip colour- which was on the pinky side. It wasn’t bad, as you can see, and I have worn more of this since then, but I would have felt better during the shoot if I was already familiar with it.

It’s easier to find your smile when you are actually happy, or in a good state of mind. There was so much going on, I felt VERY uneasy. The shoot got a little too rowdy because of all the improvisation, and the Jazzhole staff called their madam to report us. She let us stay, but the whole thing made me very uncomfortable.

If music is allowed where you shoot, take your favourite music. Like for me, that would be Beyonce definitely, to get me in the zone. ‘Cos I slay. Okay?

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DO IT

If you’re a blogger, and you’re taking your blog seriously, you need to have really good images- for yourself, and where required, for official or collaborative purposes. Don’t wait for the occasion to arise. We are really serious about taking the blog to the next level, and being in this Long Distance Relationship lol, we knew we had to do it the last time Marilyn was in Lagos. The outcome wasn’t perfect, but when we needed to send a photo for our feature in Ogojiii Magazine, SA, we had good shots to send! If you’d like to be featured in a beautiful webzine, or in print someday, you need high quality, high resolution photos not taken with your phone, or your point and shoot camera.

Also. Later on, with the Ogojiii Feature, we made a rookie mistake. When a publication requests your permission to use a photo, don’t just send it. Make sure you give them the proper credit, that is, your photographer’s name.

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Ogojii Magazine- The Kink and I- Bloggers Feature
Whoop! Super exciting! Ogojiii, the March issue. Words by Eromo Egbejule.

It was a Print feature, not an online one, but you can read the entire article HERE.

If you enjoyed reading this, share it with someone 🙂

If you have any tips to share from photoshoot experiences? Anything to share at all? Let’s talk in the comments!

Love,

AB

xx

21 thoughts on “Lessons From Our First Photoshoot

  1. Great read.
    It was a pleasure meeting you guys that day. Thankful to Mohini for bringing me along.
    And really deep lessons, I definitely learned a thing or two myself.
    Bless your hearts.

  2. Loooool @ the drum AND getting reported?! REALLY? ! But the pictures are really nice. Makeup also….not too much. She did a good job.

  3. Love it 🙂 and so much to learn!
    My most recent lesson is to prepare a brief with the clients, which explains what they want on their end, and includes my understanding of what my role is as we proceed, and all the little details that combine to that end, as clear as what tone and “feel” they want. So so key.
    Great piece. Also, more than happy to take headshots of you over coffee at the Neo on Adeyemi Lawson; just two new friends hanging out.
    Hit me up if you’re down 😊

  4. Aww you guys look so good! The pictures do not look like a Plan B thing. Anyway, the only experience I’ve had with a photoshoot was for my final yearbook. I hadn’t done that before so I was so confused about the whole thing. It was a studio thing and I posed for about twenty minutes before we got the right picture. Then the guy said I was so stiff and I just got out of my clothes and left abeg. Since that day, there’s this little extra respect I give models who have to portray a certain look and serve face in pictures.

    1. LOL thanks Frank! You had to pose for 20 minutes haha stiff ko, stiff ni, it was definitely him and not you!

  5. Love it! And so much to learn. My most recent lesson is to prepare a brief with the clients, which explains what they want on their end, and includes my understanding of what my role is as we proceed, and all the little details that combine to that end. So so key.
    Great piece. Also, more than happy to take headshots of you over coffee at the Neo on Adeyemi Lawson; just two new friends handing out. Hit me up if you’re down 😊

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