Practice, practice, practice

Many times as a San Diego Photographer, we are so busy, with life that we do not take the time to go out and practice our craft. Luckily, we have beautiful weather 363 days out of the year. So the next tough question, is what to shoot.

This shoot was done on top of a parking structure, in the afternoon. It was kind of funny, because we used a portable studio and people leaving for work kept stopping by to ask us what we were doing. I guess you could say curiosity killed the cat.

Sunsets are great been there done that, mountains are a little far for a one day shoot, I’m not particularly fond of photographing kids. At this point is usually about the time, I reach for my phone and send a text. I guess that’s one of the benefits to having friends; they don’t mind being guinea pigs and they love pictures of themselves, hint, hint if you’re reading. But seriously, it’s a great way to practice your skill for a particular type of shoot. Here are some additional tips that may help you out:

Be a Sunday driver! If you have some spare time, don’t be afraid to take some time, in search of new areas. You may be surprised at what you find.

Talk to other like minded photographers. He or she may have some ideas that you hadn’t thought of. Just remember to play nice.

Don’t forget the notebook! Take notes whenever possible, so that you can duplicate exactly what you did. (**Note: document the month, date, and time as well. **) Show your model the first couple of shots, at each set, to see if he or she likes the shot. Don’t be a tennis ball, by volleying back and forth.

Listen. If you are working with an experience model. They may have some ideas, for the perfect shot.

One of my favorites phrases, “Be Prepared”. Clean and inventory your equipment the day before. You don’t want to arrive on location, just to find out that your lenses have seen better days or that you forgot to bring extra batteries. Remember you never know what will go wrong.

Need a little something, something? Use a flash! No one says you can’t use the flash during the day, as a fill light. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did.

Catch some Zzz’s! No, I’m not saying to take a nap, but advise the client to get ample sleep, you don’t want to spend hours reviving the undead, by clearing bags and crow’s feet. MAKE UP! Make sure that everyone looks his or her best, with both hair and make-up.

Allow the client a few extra minutes time, for composure. If you have an assistant, bring him or her. If you don’t, get one. Not only can they help with the client’s appearance, they can make sure that everyone is focused on you, while you’re focused on composing their perfect shot.

Don’t forget to have fun!

Like anything, practice can only make you better and improve you experience level. Don’t be afraid to experiment, from time to time and get out of your comfort zone. You may be surprised and impressed with your results.

I hope I have not bored you too much. I had a lot of fun writing this one like all of my blogs. I trust I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not a perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.