When I first started out I would take hundreds of shots.
At a mini session.
Yep, I was convinced that if I didn’t take enough shots I’d never be able to fill a gallery. I was afraid my client would feel she hadn’t gotten her money’s worth.
I rushed through each session in rapid-fire mode. Leaving behind a wake of blurred, washed-out or unflattering images. An afternoon’s work would end up in my hard drive’s trash can. My time and my client’s time destined to be deleted.
As photographers, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to deliver value.
Afterall, the big box studio down the street is only charging $19.99 for a session. We have loads of ideas pinned to our Pinterest boards and only a short amount of time to squeeze them all in. We may not feel comfortable that we’re capable of perfect exposure in any circumstance, so we try to make-up for our lack of technical confidence by burning through a hundred shots until our client has a dull, pained look in her eyes.
The good news is, you don’t have to run your sessions this way. You can capture gorgeous images without sending your sensor into an early retirement. Here’s how:
1. Slow down. Take your time to review your composition and exposure before pressing the shutter button. Check the edges of your frame for unwanted distractions, check the details like the subject’s pose and expression. Wait for the right moment, then open the shutter.
2. Limit your shots per pose. I try to limit myself to no more than three captures per pose. Two on my main camera body and one on my back up. Then use posing to create variety.
3. Limit the number of images in your galleries. Include a specific number of images in your contract. I find 20-30 works well for me. My client knows what to expect and so do I. It’s a manageable number that keeps me from going overboard and overwhelming my client.
4. Review as you go. After you take a shot, take a moment to look it over on your camera’s display. Zoom in and check the focus, lighting and details. Check the histogram. If all looks good, you can move on with confidence.
Try it at your next session. I dare you. To make it easier for you, I’ve created a 4×6 cheat sheet to remind you. Print it out, tuck it in your camera bag or your back pocket to help keep you on task at your next session.
We can refine our businesses to work for us. By planning ahead and making small changes along the way, we can save ourselves time. Time that we can then put back into our businesses, spend with our families or just have a little extra time for fun.