I'm generally pretty fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to photography, I just head out the door camera in hand and 'happen upon' my shots. That said, I do do a lot of pre-planning for my model shoots. It can get pretty awkward if you don't as some models will just stand there like sticks until you tell them exactly what to do.
I wanted to explore the theme of 'noir'....and create the look of an old black and white movie. Noir is all about hard directional light, so I made a couple of 'ghetto-snoots' using black poster board and duct tape. Worked pretty good I think.
This shot is probably the most noiry:
Though this was my favorite from the night:
Even with all the planning, some shots come together organically. It was nearing the end of the shoot and I was thinking of calling it a wrap when I thought of a very cool picture by Joe McNally (page 230 of Hot Shoe Diaries if you have it...) and I thought I'd try a homage. Tried a couple different positions for the shadow, and I am still not totally satisfied with it, but I came up with this on about the third frame I shot:
I think my model Robyn did a fantastic job.
I also like doing blue-hour, and although I don't pre-plan specific shots, I do keep a mental list of locations I want to shoot. One such place is the Peter Hemingway Pool here in Edmonton. I arrived on site waaaayyyy too early, and it was bloody cold so I had to wander around for a while and kill time. Once it was time to take the shot some low clouds had moved in, and the red cast from the street lights mixing with the blue light filtering through the clouds gave me a lovely 'purple hour' frame: