Monday, August 3, 2009

Up Up Up (aug8 but using for aug3)

Up Up Up, originally uploaded by gawdessness.

at the folk music festival
babies fall from the pink sunset sky

iso 100, shutter speed 1/1600 second, focal length 70mm, Canon 30d, exposure 0ev
This post is really about things that I have learned about photography in general and specifically about starting my own photography related business.

Why the baby? I was tooooooo busy to take pictures on the third (at least I haven't found any if I did) and I liked this shot so much that I wanted to share it. Partly because it is the shot I went after and I didn't have a very large window of time to get it. So I was pleased that I figured out how and did it.

In point form (and in no particular order and by no means complete ) some of the things I have learned:
- when handing out business cards do not tell people that they don't need to take one if they don't want too
-workflow is a very important word - it means how you manage the digital information from your camera from the moment you download, how you download it, edit it and how long it takes to get to your final product.
-I usually need at least a day before I can look at the pictures from a shoot after I have downloaded them because I am at first staggeringly overwhelmed with how much they are not as good as I want them to be (nothing to do with subject) and I need time to have a more realistic perspective, shake myself and just do the job This is harder than it sounds though. Possibly one of my biggest challenges...
-emailing each edited picture to the client as I finish with it, is a nice idea but not a practical one (it takes too long and I send too many) nor a constructive one (I overwhelm the client with images/and being in the middle of the workflow is not the right time to ask for what changes the client would like made)
-I need time to practice printing out images so I am comfortable with doing it and also having them printed out so that I am comfortable with a service and what they offer and can recommend it to clients
-beautiful, handmade albums to give to clients at the end are a lovely idea but not at all possible to do if I buy the ones I want ready made (they start at 275 US)
-talented, beautiful friends and family are amazing resources for all kinds of things, letting me take pictures, waiting while I figure out the rest of the process, encouraging me, providing me with mockups of beautiful, handmade albums that we can make for picture presentation...etc.
-if I need a few minutes to iron out a problem with one of my cameras or the lighting, I should say so and just do it - that is more professional than attempting to forge ahead and brazen it out and losing images because the quality sucks (painful lesson)
-I also need to take a few minutes during shoots to review and use things like that the focus is where I want it on a subject, the f stop is right for the subject, and the iso and the metering etc. and to not worry about that not coming across as professional
-I have about a ten percent return on my shots (i.e. shoot 400, get 40 pretty good images) and that is not bad at all
-the best shoots take from 1-3 hours
-have a plan, stuff never goes the way you think it will but having a plan is comforting and professional
-there is a reason photographers cost so dang much!!!!!! And it isn't just because they can and I have to suck it up and come up with some kind of pricing-but I feel weird about it
-editing is a whole different ballgame and skill set and I need to research more about it because it is worthwhile
-getting the right picture onto the memory card from the beginning is the very best way and my biggest goal
-jpegs can be a very useful format
-raw format means I can save a picture I might not otherwise have been able too
-I love my 5d but wish I could make it shut up and be quiet instead of noisy when I am shooting (maybe I can, I have not read the manual all the way through yet)
-there is NOT enough time in the day........
-taking pictures for other people is much more intense in some ways than taking pictures for myself and yet it is very much the same and I LOVE it.
-being a professional portrait photographer is about a lot more than just snapping some pictures (Duh)

1 comment:

bsouth said...

Firstly, I love the picture.

Secondly, all the things you've learned - what a steep learning curve. From the pictures I've seen on your blog and the words you wrap round them, combined with all the things you've listed here, I think you're going to be an amazing professional photographer.

I would pay you to photograph us if you were in the uk. Any holiday's planned?

About Me


Photo Quotes
When I ask to photograph someone, it is because I love the way they look and I think I make that clear. I'm paying them a tremendous compliment. What I'm saying is, I want to take you home with me and look at you for the rest of my life.
- Amy Arbus