FAQ : Avoiding Photographic Regret


I was recently asked by Caroline Shea on Facebook whether I get back from a photo shoot and feel like I didn’t get everything I wanted or wish I had done better. Caroline writes, If so, how do you combat that negativity? I take it and learn from it, but it can be disheartening. Are you at a point now where you usually have a good idea of everything you are going to do before you do it? How are you able to visualize that?

Well, the answer to these questions is yes. Yes, I always think I could do better. Always. But I’m also the type of person who secretly thinks if I went to elementary school with Ryan Gosling, I’d make him give me a promise ring and propose before we left fifth grade. I’m delusional. Everything in retrospect is clear and the would’ve/should’ve/could’ve completely evident. It’s not always like that (Ryan, if you read this, I’m still here for you, boo), but there are ways to alleviate the stress going into a shoot.

Most of the time, my shoots are broken into two sections, outfit one and outfit two (my clients usually opt for an outfit change). Before I start a shoot, I arrive to the location around 25-30 minutes early and find locations that best fit natural light photography and take time to review my previsualized ideas.

During the first half of the photo shoot (outfit one), I’m gauging my clients and setting the tone for a fun time. We chat, walk, and I pose them in ways that seem completely natural to who they are as a couple. Once I feel I have a grasp of who they are, we’ve hit a lull, or we begin to lose light (as in, working against sunset), I encourage the clients to change into outfit two.

While the clients are away, I have a few moments (maybe ten minutes) to look at my camera and quickly assess how things have developed. One thing I focus on is whether I have an equal mix of:
*Candid photos
*Fun photos
*Romantic photos
*Editorial photos
*Lifestyle photos

As I scroll through the images on the LCD screen of my camera, patterns start to form. If it’s lively, vivacious couple, the shoot up until that point will likely yield more fun, candid poses, so I make it a point to focus on photos that are softer in nature (like romantic, warm, and kissy…yup, just made up that word) when the clients return in outfit two.

Please note: I showcase about a half of the shoot via a slideshow and blog post, and the other half is posted in an online gallery (for a total of 60-65 images) to ensure my clients have a variety of images to choose from that aren’t too much of one type of photography. And that’s the key: ensuring your clients have a diverse portfolio filled with pictures that make them happy. Because, if they’re happy, they’ll refer people your way…which will in turn allow you to hone your skills even more on a photo shoot, lessening those moments of photographic would’ve/should’ve/could’ve.

Like always, I hope this helps at least one person…and it made sense. I have a tendency to talk a lot. Or what I tell JD when he says I’m rambling: I’M THOROUGH. Obvi.

Stay Fabulous,