How to nail your first fashion shoot

The winner of our #StormPhoto competition Ryan Rivers shares his tips for smashing your first major gig – and presents his shoot starring Storm model Lottie Moss

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Lottie Moss Ryan Rivers photography Katy Fox styling Dazed
Lottie wears jacket Marni, shoulder bag Weekday, silk trousers Fendi, ring and leather sandals Louis VuittonPhotography Ryan Rivers, styling Louise Ford

Exciting! You’re a young photographer, fresh in the game, armed with a camera, a vision and a load of ambition. You book your first job – but now what? Enter Ryan Rivers – the Ireland-born, UK-based image-maker and winner of Dazed and Storm Models’ nationwide photography competition, #StormPhoto. After beating thousands to claim the top spot, the Glasgow School of Art grad earned a one-to-one portfolio review with Dazed’s photographic director Lauren Ford and a DSLR camera and got the opportunity to shoot Storm girl Lottie Moss for Dazed Digital.

“Storm wanted to work with Dazed to create an original entry level opportunity for young creative talent to enter the fashion industry,” said the agency’s director, Simon Chambers. “We were so impressed by the standard of entries and even more so with the final results of Ryan’s shoot with Lottie. It just goes to show how much talent there is here in the UK and we look forward to working with Ryan and watching his career grow.”

On the day of the shoot, Rivers recalls feeling a little apprehensive at the start but that he was quickly put at ease by the team. “Lottie was such a pleasure to work with, and a total professional,” he recalls. “The team was great too; they made my job a breeze. Getting the chance to work and connect with people on a friendly level meant I could ask lots of questions about the industry, and just tips in general – I definitely learned a lot, even from that one day.”

Here, Rivers shares a few top tips for those who, like him, are setting out to conquer the world of professional photography.

PREPARE

“This is the most important point, and applies to all aspects of your shoot. Visit the location a day early and try map out where you can get the best shots. Research poses so you can clearly direct the model. Make a list of the gear you need to bring – and make sure you have your batteries! Things can happen on a job that will be out of your control (one being the weather) so the more you prepare prior to shooting, the less you’ll have to worry about on the day.”

HAVE REFERENCES AND COMMUNICATE THEM TO THE TEAM

“Inspiration can come from lots of places, not just photography, so include all those references in a moodboard to clearly communicate them to the team. It seems obvious, but the clearer you are about your ideas, the smoother everything runs.”

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE EXPENSIVE GEAR

“The best camera isn’t necessarily the best for your work. Or if you’re just starting out, learn to use what you have while you’re still developing your style. Then you can make better choices on which gear you should buy.”

“Things can happen on a job that will be out of your control (one being the weather) so the more you prepare prior to shooting, the less you’ll have to worry about” – Ryan Rivers

BRING EXTRA FILM

“This has happened to me in the past, particularly when shooting film. Buy some extra rolls (you can never have too many), and take the time to make sure you’ve gotten enough shots. This isn’t as much of a problem when shooting digital, but that too can pose some problems. It can be tempting to just fire off 10-20 shots and assume you’ve gotten some that work, but again, take the time to compose yourself, ensure you have all the right settings and that you’ve actually gotten the shots.”

@helloryanrivers | @stormmodels

Hair Alfie Sackett, make-up Samantha Falcone, model Lottie Moss at Storm, fashion assistants Kieran Fenney, Ryan Peterson

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