Stacey Kull’s Beach, Fashion, Head shot, and Commercial Super Session.

She was in town and needed new images for her portfolio so we made the most of it.

Life has been crazy of late with trying to balance work with a photography side gig and a personal life. I’ve been trying to optimize each aspect to make better use of the time I have. Any way that I can streamline time at work, photo workflow, heck even running errands, means more time for me. I know others are in the same boat.

Which is why I love Super Sessions so much. They allow the client and I to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time.

Take Stacey for example. She was in town for a few days recently and her agencies wanted her to get some new images for her modeling portfolio. As we were going through her shot list, I realized that we needed to do a Super Session. She needed new headshots, some business type photos, lifestyle, “mom looks”, et cetera. She also wanted to do a beach session for herself.

Each session would require prep, packing, driving to various locations, shooting, and heading back to the hotel to clean up. That’s a lot of time and effort and wouldn’t leave much for her to relax and enjoy the local culture. We decided that, instead of doing several shoots scattered over several days we would knock it out of the park in one longer session.

We kicked off our day by meeting up at a local beach for a sunrise session. Let me tell you something, my sunrise sessions aren’t for the weak. We typically meet up an hour before sunrise to get things started, in this case 5am. Let’s take it back from there. Drive time to the location for her was 20 minutes. She had to get ready at the hotel before leaving for the shoot. Factor in an hour or so for that. This means she was up around 330am to be on the beach by 5 for a 6am sunrise.

I was also up at 330 because I had final prep to do as well as take care of my pets before I headed out at 430.

Stacey came ready to rock. We got set up and started to figure out lighting, outfits and poses as the sky got brighter. Then it was magic time. That 20 minutes or so on either side of sunrise where the light is the best it will ever be for that session. We were firing on all eight cylinders by that point.

We did beauty and fashion as well as swimsuit. We even got in an amazing headshot. The light was just glorious, the water was like glass and Stacey outshone the sun. We packed everything up at 730. Stacey went back to her hotel room to clean up, eat some breakfast, and be ready for Amy of Vanity by Amy who did her make up and hair for the commercial side of the session.

Make up and hair people like Amy are crucial to a successful session. Not only do they make the clients look their best but also make my job editing the resulting images so much easier and quicker. They are worth their weight in gold. Any serious portrait photographer should have a list of them they can reach out to.

After Amy did her usual stellar job, Stacey and I headed to a local coffee shop in an area that had several different scenes that we could use. We did business, casual, some more headshots and what one agency called “Mom” shots.

When it was all said and done we had almost over four hours of shooting in the books. I ended up sending her two to three times the normal amount of edited images I send to clients from a session. She had time to relax and explore the area the rest of the day and Sunday morning before heading back home Sunday afternoon. It was a bit of an effort on both our parts but we really maximized our time together to get her some new, diverse, images.

Do you have to be from out of town to take advantage of a Super Session? Absolutely not. I’ve down countless Super Sessions with locals who wanted a diverse batch of images but had very limited availability. Fitness, fashion, head shots, beauty, beach, commercial, promotional, et cetera. Mix and match to find the best combo that fits your needs.

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