Continuing our test shoot series, we caught up with Ivan Weiss about his experience as a working photographer, the reasons behind test shooting, and what it's like to be a part of a creative community.


Why do you test shoot? 

Test shoots allow me to build my portfolio with the kind of work I want to be doing, not just the kind of work I am currently being paid for. They give me the opportunity to experiment with different lighting or different post-production techniques and generally practice and perfect my workflow. There’s no real pressure as there is no money involved but, at the same time, you do still need to produce a high-quality product because everyone is giving up their time for free. So, for me, test shoots are about being able to set my own goals and test my own limits. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to network.
My clients are my best advertising. So working with a diverse group of freelancers who are all actively developing their own careers means that they will be using my images, showing them to agents, other actors/musicians/dancers/models and, hopefully, recommending me.

You sourced a team to test with on The Freelancer Club site. What did you like about it? 

There are three ways that I use The Freelancer Club: Either I apply to a job that has been advertised by someone else, I set up a job advert of my own, or I look through people’s portfolios and contact them directly if I think that I have something to offer them and vice versa. All of these are really easy to do.
The difficult part is finding a time when everyone is available as, of course, we all need to prioritise paid work. For the most part, I have found that if someone has put in the effort to create a portfolio on the site, it’s a good indicator of their commitment. So The Freelancer Club acts as a kind of filter in that way. And that’s even better now with the addition of the review/recommend feature because I can see who is active and getting good feedback.



Tell us about the shoot. What do you plan on doing with the images? 

The shoot itself was great fun. Marino [the model] had brought her own wardrobe options, so we went through those and selected ones we both liked. It’s always interesting to work with new people. Marino has a few years of experience in Japan so I got to learn a bit about how the industry works over there. That became our starting point as she was saying “I have 4 years worth of images in a Japanese style and now I want something more in a London style”.

I, of course, had her do some shots in a cutesy Japanese style, with big smiles, teeth showing and everything, but then we moved on to more serious looks, which is, I think, what we were both looking for.

I’ll use one or two of the images in my portfolio and the rest will go into my file of images that I use with new clients to help make suggestions if they don’t have definite ideas about what they want their headshots to look like.

Photographer: Ivan Weiss
Model: Marino

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