If you are working with people, access is your biggest obstacle. We know the importance of post production, we are advocates for good post production. Without a good starting point, a good photograph, no amount of post work is going to save you. It’s important to put in effort before your shoot so you have success during your shoot. Part of the work is good access. We always say that photographing a wedding or a couple is an intimate thing and there is no better way to show a connection than to be close. Let your clients know you want to shoot from the inside out, not the outside in, and let them know you need to be invited into their space. Because when you’re close you’re going to deliver images that bring your clients right back to those moments in a impactful and intimate way. We’d guess some of the best photographers in the world are the best because they get the best access, not because they are the best with their cameras.
02: LIGHT IS KING
Photographers love a good location. A good location is dynamic and inspiring. But let us tell you something. Look for the light first and location second. No matter how dynamic a location is, there is absolutely no substitute for good light. The most important elements in a photo are as follows. Light, composition, concept, moment. If you get three out of four of these, you’ve got something. If you get all four, you have something special.
03: KEEP AN OPEN MIND
It is great to go into a shoot with a plan, you should always plan. But here is the thing, often as photographers our plans get blown up for one reason or another. It is so important to stay positive and be adaptable. Because guess what? Sometimes a change of plan will force you into an unexpected situation that turns out to be better than anything you could have planned. The important thing is that we stay ready and we embrace the change. Stay positive because we just might be surprised.
We’re going to wager a guess here. You got into photography because you like it, right? Then this should be easy. Play! Have fun, experiment. Be yourself. And the most important part of this, photograph what you are drawn to. If you do that, your photos will be better just because you’re enjoying what you’re doing.
05: DON’T HESITATE
There is absolutely zero room for hesitation in photography. The moment you take the viewfinder away from your eye, you’ve lost. Moments are fleeting and if you’re not ready, or you’re unsure, you’re going to miss it. On the other hand, be relentless in your pursuit of good images. Think about it this way. Athletes train everyday. Because if they don’t, somebody is going to outwork them. The same goes for photography, we have to flex our photographic muscles. Shoot photos everyday. We don’t get success by trying a little bit, we have to go all in.
Take these five steps we covered and apply them to your pre-production workflow, you’re going to have more successful shoots. It is all about the work leading up to the photo that makes the shoot successful.