Rosemarie Cruz reveals the secrets to photographing every cover for Grapeshot Magazine this year.
What does a Grapeshot photographer do?
In addition to meeting incredible models for both print and online content, the Grapeshot photographer works alongside the entire team: cover shoots, event photography, profile of celebrities and many more photographic opportunities; and also creating a substantial amount of photographic stock for the publication – your photographs could be used in the following years to come and you could say “Hey that’s my photography” with a smile.
How do you do it?
The key is organisation and of course planning ahead of time.
For cover shoots, the search for models and the organisation of the shooting may not always turn out the way things are planned or thought in your head, through improvisation or a “back-up” plan. Your creativity has no time for brakes as you are always kept on your toes if the worse case scenario was to happen. Contacting models, editors and writers allows consistency in the plan and less stress on the day of the photo shoot, even if it means having late night conversations with the editor-in-chief to clarify the photo shoot. Also having to consider underlying factors such as weather, location, props, costumes etc. should be reconfirmed and adjustable ahead of time, whether it’s a week, a day or an hour before the schedule photo shoot. Reconfirming ahead of time is another key factor when organising photo shoots in general.
Another consideration is ethics in photography. Organising consent forms to clarify that the photograph is going to be officially published in both the online and print version of Grapeshot creates understanding in both the photographer’s reputation and the subject themselves.
What do you love the most about your work at Grapeshot?
The opportunity to work and meet various people in different departments of life along with having an opportunity of doing something that you are passionate about. From within the team and also the subjects themselves, meeting people on a different basis that I was relatively new to changed my perspective of what I can achieve in my future if I put that extra effort in what I love to do. For example, a photo essay piece I did in the Music issue about street performers, being able to come up to a performer and interview them with an objective in mind brings you out of the comfort zone of everyone that you usually encounter to a new array of individuals that you meet.
How do you manage your time of being a Grapeshot photographer and a student with your other commitments?
Meeting deadlines is tricky especially if you have study, work and family commitments to attend. Trying to meet deadline ahead of time, for example a week, allows excess time for trial and error if the photo shoot turns out wrong. Organising photo shoots with the models and with your own timetable to meet an agreeable time frame before the deadline would definitely be a bonus.
What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
Organising photo shoots in terms of location and dates can be challenging. Photo shoots that require two or more models is an obstacle that you would usually encounter. Just like everyone and myself we have commitments that don’t fit within the certain time frame needed. Organising a back-up plan whether scenarios where improvisation with the models is needed, reconfirmation of all factors in a photo shoot or scrapping the entire concept overall I always have to think a couple of steps ahead which would suit best for everyone and myself included.
What advice would you have for those who are looking to apply for the photographer position?
Be creative on how you view photography and why you are unique as an individual photographer. Think about it this way, the person next to you could take the exact same thing with a great camera so what angle makes you different than the rest and why you should be chosen for the next Grapeshot photographer. Be open-minded to criticism and feedback along with a string argument as to why you think through that perspective.
One last thing. Always have your camera charged the night before the photo shoot or day of the event. You wouldn’t want your camera losing battery before the photo shoot.