Many photographers have the misconception that shooting behind the scenes documentaries, videos and production photography is relatively easy and accessible. Sometimes shooting BTS doesn’t require the regular polish that photographers are used to when in terms of video work, production photography, Its still des require some format and work around with a correct workflow to get authentic behind the scenes photography or behind the scenes video. To help reduce any risks involved in this process and give anyone an upper hand, there are several things that people should remember to shoot behind the scenes effectively.
1. Know what you are about to capture and plan it.
2. Communicate the story of the day
3. Tell a Story – Lots of angles and content, lens ranges and crops
4. Know Your Style – Try to be Photojournalistic
5.Capture Moments, Not Equipment
6. Get a Lot of Coverage or – B Roll which is really essential to a classy BTS story
7. Throw in a few one to one interviews and opinions.
Interestingly many people express an opinion which Is, behind the scenes work doesn’t have to be too crafted and is quite a rough easy process. For me, this can’t is further from the truth. I always require good quality pictures and video content from which I can keep diving into and using for various reasons. Recently I was asked to do a complete story about an image I had crafted whilst on location in Austria and the Ice Cave at 12500ft (Ice Queen) The BTS crew had captured such magnificent content which was still fresh and usable to help tell my story about the shoot
B – ROLL Video behind the scenes content
Capturing as much interest and part of the action is essential, but B – Roll is necessary to really convey the story, photographers shooting behind the scenes photography should get plenty of coverage but at the same time be creative with the B – Roll capturing Interesting things happen around the space that they are shooting. It could be the boiling kettle, application of makeup, unloading the car, setting up of equipment and the feet and hands etc. It helps the editors when they are putting the final video together and creates a more decadent feel to the production for BTS.
Finding a good BTS crew is essential
I find this very important they understand the flow of the shoot. The team are following your lead, tracking you and your shoot and how you work and interact not just with the model but the crew and the location if the unit has not much of an insight into what they are doing. Or not that good with their kit, there will be a problem. For me, on a trip to Iceland, production had assigned a BTS crew who were cheap and utterly useless at the task. The final result was trashy footage and stills for which I had no use. The crew had also been paid handsomely for the footage by the production team
Be observant as a BTS shooter – Dita Von Teese
Photographic skill and a photojournalistic style as well as being observant are crucial. Subtle things happen and well as the large interactions and many things will be happening around you at the same time. You have to spot the nuances and how the shoot is moving forward but never guide or interfere with the shoot.
Working on location with Dita Von Teese
Intimate moments captured tell it how it was!
Interaction of the crew and moment like this emphasise how good the process, workflow and interactions were. A good BTS crew will anticipate those and weave them into some believable content which expresses a good feeling. This footage may also be used to send back to the main client who is paying the bills but also trusting the production team to deliver the content.
Some clients rely on a few interviews at the locations, and the reason is it can help preempt the final production launch date and build anticipation. I always have a few Sennheiser Lav Mic’s packed away and a Rode boom mic just in case. Used both for the clients and your social media.
Below shot in Iceland
Behind the scenes, photography and video is part of my own marketing goals and used to attract more interested, customers, clients or photographers. BTS is only one of the ways I achieve this, and by showing a little bit of the effort that goes into a photoshoot.
It can also help you as the photographer to get discovered, by showing the behind the scenes can help answer a client’s potential question, “Why would I want to book you and does your process fit our own and our clients?” It helps allow a potential client to see you and how you work and work out if you fit their mould and can get on with an existing team from previous shoots.
Just remember my productions sometimes are a little bigger hence some extensive BTS, but not always and in this shot below we did our own BTS as we do on a number of our productions. Not all behind the scenes need to be a big production, but they do need to be captured with quality and style to make it all interesting