The following article outlines and explains the most important points which need to be considered when planning and organizing an on-location garden photo shoot in Shanghai, regardless if you like to shoot any of following types of products:
- garden furniture items such as patio furniture, seating sets, grills, gazebos, green houses ..
- power equipment such as lawnmowers, blowers, spreaders, chain saws, swishers ..
- gardening or landscaping items such as flooring, pest control, mulch, planter ..
In the past five years we could gain a lot of experience after having planned and executed more than 200 on-location shoots in China, and actually also in Japan, Korea, India, Vietnam or Singapore.
On-Location shootings typically are charged with a minimum of 4 hours (=half-day shoot) as it often already takes 1-2 hours to arrange, pack and load all the equipment into the van and actually getting to the location.
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Once at the location, the photography team starts to setup their equipment at the first “scene”, and the first shot is ready to be taken.
Although each on-location shoot is unique and needs to be treated differently from others, generally you will find yourself always dealing with the same “variables”, which will all be explained in greater detail below:
- Planning & Workflow
When planning a shooting of garden related items, you first need to think of the location: Either you shoot your products on a “greenfield” or you ask your photography team to find an appropriate-looking villa with a nice garden or patio area. Both options have their pro’s and con’s which we point out below:
- easier to manage (logistics)
- looks better
- background without ambiance
- higher costs
Rimagine has two experienced landscaping partner companies in Shanghai. Both are internationally-owned companies, designing, planting and maintaining 100s of Western-looking gardens and compounds in Shanghai. One of those companies is usually put in charge of all landscaping issues to set up all the scenes throughout the project plus help out with main logistical issues.
For a two day on-location shooting on the green field of our landscaping partner, following cost orientation might help you to calculate future projects:
- Team of 5 Workers 3,000 RMB per day (=450 USD per day)
Workers can plant/carry/lift/move products or plants, but need orders.
The 3,000 RMB per day are for all the 5 workers.
- Team of 2 Supervisors 2,500 RMB per day (=375 USD per day)
Supervisors coordinate workers and are responsible to build scenes.
The 2,500 RMB per day are for all the 2 supervisors.
- 100sqm of Greenfield 3,000 RMB per day (=450 USD per day)
The greenfields are located in the district of Song Jiang, approximately an one hour drive from our photography studios in Shanghai (without traffic, 30-45 minutes). In total, a complete greenfield plus a team of gardeners could cost you the following for a two-day photo shooting:
6,000 RMB 2 days x 3,000 RMB (5 workers) to carry, move products
5,000 RMB 2 days x 2,500 RMB (2 supervisors) to ensure correct scenes
6,000 RMB 2 days x 3,000 RMB (green field area rental)
1,500 RMB soil, tool usage, etc.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
18,500 RMB = 2,700 USD
(not including photography, account manager, retouching and product logistic costs)
A worker maintaining a field:
Rimagine is experienced in all relevant logistical issues as we have done and organized a big number of logistic-intensive on-location shoots in China. Due to the typically largeness and bulkiness of garden products, we recommend to have the suppliers of the products or our landscaping partner pre-store, arrange and transport all the products to the (various) location(s).
Based on past experience, our team can create between 5 to 10 scenes in one day. Factors which influence the shooting outcome:
- Amount of scenes (a scene is for example: Lawnmover in front of greenhouse)
- Time to setup each scene (this would be done before the shooting starts)
- Setup of lights (we would shoot with battery-driven lights or just use reflectors)
- Location (e.g. distance to studio or from parking lot to shooting scene)
- Weather (if weather prevents shooting, usually 30% of our service fees are charged)
- Props (if any)
With each different scene we shoot, we get a selection of shots that are taken with the same lighting, but with small variations in angle and composition.
Depending on your preference, the retouching of all confirmed shots can be either be done by Rimagine’s own retouching team, or any other retouching team which you appoint.
The team which would plan the shooting and work with you usually consists of:
- 1 Producer project coordination, scheduling, arrangements, props
- 1 Photographer taking the actual shots, consulting in terms of design
- 2 Assistants assist photographer, run errands, move equipment
- 1 Driver van to shuttle team, fetch products/equipment
- 1 Admin Assist. stay in the studio, arrangements, phone calls
Landscaping team typically consists of
- 1 Project Manager coordinating all gardeners
- 5-10 Gardeners build scenes, carry/lift/move products, plant trees
- 1 Truck Driver
A supervisor and some workers:
Team Talent Count.
The core team will be approximately 8-15 persons (not including client). It is advised that at least one client representative is present all the time.
For any on-location / outside shooting, the weather has to be considered. Weather is usually stable and very nice in spring and fall in Shanghai (2nd half of March/April/May and September/ October/ November). Shanghai “has” a rainy season but even within this rainy season it does not rain more than in Germany in fall. The best months to do such shootings are therefore in the indicated months.
Planning & Workflow.
A detailed planning and close communication between you, your photography team, the location owner(s) and the landscaping company are necessary. Rimagine would orchestrate all parties, and your account manager would act as the main coordinator. In general, Rimagine recommends following process:
- Confirmation on location(s) (images/measurements to Hornbach)
- Scene Scribble and definition amount of scenes/where/how
- Detailed cost estimate from landscaping team
- Confirmation and pre-production start
- Suppliers send products to landscaping company
- Landscaping company builds all scenes
- Photo shooting of the scenes, create approx. 60 shots
- Disposal of all used material (either back to supplier, property owner can keep, or dispose)
More Things To Consider:
- Can one member of your team be present during the shoot (ideally to approve images)?
- Do you have examples (or references you like) of past shootings?
- Who is in charge of the landscaping design? (not really necessary for greenfield option)
- Do you have a total allocated budget or do you like us to come up with one?
- From where will the supplier’s send the products? (Shanghai-area?)
We hope this article will help you to evaluate the feasability of planning and organizing a on-location shoot of your garden products in Shanghai.