The SINGLE most IMPORTANT thing at your shoot?

Is NOT a top of the line camera.
Is NOT top of the line strobes.
Is NOT top of the line modifiers.
Is NOT the latest and greatest photoshop software

I see and speak to many people who INSIST that the top of the line things like those above, are needed for a great shoot. I laugh at them and ask them to go into greater detail. Many of them assume that I’m challenging them, when in fact, that is the furthest thing from my mind! They go into their big detail and technical meaning as to why they need a 24mp DSLR to resize the majority of their images to 900 pixel on the longest side, and imho, they are STILL way off.

“What, damnit, is the most important thing?” you ask?


Music is how I connect with my models! It’s how I set the mood sometimes, with out even saying it! Music also sets the tone for my energy level which carries over to the model. I have different music for different types of shoots.

High energy shoot playlist:

Brittany Spears: My prerogative
Lenny Kravitz: Are you gonna go my way
Lenny Kravitz: American Woman
GS Boyz: Stanky legg
Van Morrison: Brown eyed girl
Rick James: Mary Jane
Prince: 18 & over
Pink: Tell me something good
Kayne West: Breathe in and out
Chingy: anything by him
Pherrell: anything by him
Afroman: Because I got high

That’s the type of music I play when I want to have fun and get high energy, emotion.

When I want to slow it down and shoot “maxim” or art/glam nudes, I play more music to match that tone:

Prince: Rippopgodazipper
Marvin Gaye: Let’s get it on
Marvin Gaye; Sexual healing
Betty Wright: Tonight is the night
Bell-Biv-DeVoe: Something’s in your eye
James Brown: Get up (I feel like a sex machine)
Ginuwine: In those jeans
Ginuwine: Sex
Jamie Foxx: Unpredictable
Jamie Foxx; Freaking me
Prince: Get off
Luther: Anything
Barry White: Anything
And more along those lines

The purpose is I want them feeling sexy. If they feel sexy, they will give me the looks that I can use. They know it’s safe for them to be and feel sexy, that my objective is to get the best shot I possibly can. If they can do that, then I can get them something no one else can and that is worth it for them.

So that’s it! Music is the missing key that many people don’t think about. Will you now put more emphasis on music?


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