Photoshop: Tricks of the Trade

Heath Grout, executive creative director of 18 Rabbit, is no stranger to a set. Before establishing his own shop, he spent 13 years as creative director of TIGI. There, he conceptualized and shot campaigns, videos, editorials and educational pieces for the brand’s Bed Head and Catwalk lines. Shooting as often as five days a week, he’s picked up some pivotal pointers. Here are Grout’s key ingredients for pulling off a successful photo shoot:

1. Team Assemble a crew made up of at least a photographer, makeup artist, wardrobe stylist and quality models. Spend the money on models. It makes all the difference in the world. 

2. Storyboard Put together key words and references that will serve as inspiration. Storyboarding ensures that everyone is on the same page before you start. It’s important to make things as clear as possible for your own team. Communication and asking questions is key.


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3. Location Scouting Daylight is the most flattering source of light. If you need natural light, consider studios with large windows facing sunrise or sunset. My favorites in New York are Root NYC, Milk Studios and Outpost Studio.  

4. Build a Kit Besides your go-to products, consider the looks you’re trying to achieve. What looks great live and in 3D may come across as flat and one-dimensional. For example, a product to create shine may not produce the same effect on camera. Product application is different as well, so research and practice what will create the desired effect—especially if you need texture or pieces to pop.

5. Set Etiquette Be mindful of your behavior on set. Check the attitude at the door. Your energy can be infectious, especially since situations occur and things change from the original plan. Try to be flexible and adaptable, and work quickly and efficiently. 

6. Know Your Goal You want everything to read as a total concept. Makeup and wardrobe shouldn’t be thrown on, but treated as an integral step towards enhancing and highlighting the hair. Be consistent with the overall message by using these components to play up the imagery you are creating.

Photography Heath Grout