I love working with people, professional or aspiring models, people who want their portraits taken, people who look for specific type of photography for their businesses, commercial or promotional purposes. However, it's not always possible to prepare some of these photo shoots and often it's necessary to improvise... actually you can never be confident that you're 100% prepared for a photo shoot as a photographer. There are almost always unexpected things happening: bad weather, people not showing up or showing up late limiting your time for a shoot, location turning out different than you expected, etc (the list can continue forever).
You can't be prepared for these unexpected circumstances (quite obviously they're unexpected) and you have to be ready to improvise - being able and ready to improvise during a photo shoot is a must and actually it's the only thing you can be sure of and control before a photo shoot. Just to make it clear: you can't go for a photo shoot completely unprepared thinking that you can improvise everything but you need to be ready to improvise when needed, let your creativity unleash and just 'expect unexpected' as I say.
I had a photo shoot, during which I had to improvise, a couple of weeks ago in February 2011. I met with Knight Wise and Niejana of KnightWise.com - I refer to both of them as THE Belgian Geeks :). Knight Wise and Niejana are a really awesome couple from Belgium who are not only into technology but also into Starwars, podcasting, videocasting and all the geeky stuff (honestly, I'm not sure what I'm talking here about because I'm not a typical geek... I'm just a photography geek). Anyway, going back to the topic, I met with them in Tongeren (Belgium) (which was also my first time in Tongeren) and I had no idea what to expect - we didn't have a fixed photo shoot location and their house turned out a bit too small for a photo shoot.
The only option was to improvise, especially when I decided to start off with a photo shoot outside at a countryside. Knight Wise and Niejana took me to a nearby popular park, just outside of a city and I immediately started to look around for interesting places, foregrounds, backgrounds and patterns... anything that would be interesting and supplementary for portrait photography. I don't think I have to mention that I tried to take the pictures of Knight Wise and Niejana around the theme of the 'Belgian Geeks'. They mentioned to me during the photo shoot that they even didn't have their engagement photo shoot before they had the wedding few years ago. So I decided to use this opportunity to shoot few engagement / couple / love pictures. At some point, I just asked them to sit on the ground and I let them interact with each other - it turned out great and I learned one important thing: Geek love is tough love (look at the picture where Niejana hits Knight Wise with a very robust and expensive laptop) :)
Strobist info for some of the pictures: I used a combination of Nikon's SB-900 Speedlight on a shoot-through umbrella and sometimes I also used a light-reflector for pictures taken outside (but I also tried to use as much natural light as possible, something just modifying it slightly with a light-reflector. For indoor pictures, I used 2 Lastolite Lumen F400 lamps with shoo-through umbrellas as well.