Just Shoot Me…Top “Ugh!” Avoiding Reminders.on Oct 19 in Photography, Tips & Tricks by Meg
I’ll admit it. We at LensProToGo are pretty darn awesome.
We’re organized, attentive, informed, super-fun, snappy-dressers, and clearly, quite modest. We tend to find that our photographer friends lean toward the super-cool, as well.
But, let’s face it: technology is moving at lightning speed; newer, faster, shinier tools are on the scene daily, and even if (like me) you’re up all night cramming your brain full of the latest photo-goodness, you can’t possibly know it all, right? And as much as I hate to admit it, on the very, very rare occasion, even the snazziest among us has a ‘dog-ate-my-CF-card’ ‘lens-in-the-toilet’ kind of day.
Well, never fear, folks; we’re here to help. The LensProToGo crew is geared up to bring you in-depth tutorials, quick tips, and friendly little reminders to keep you rocking the socks off of your clients.
For today’s installment, we’re pleased to bring you:
JUST SHOOT ME: incredibly simple – but infinitely valuable – quick tips. [Tips you can put into practice right now and avoid those little (and not-so-little) snafus that make you want to throw your camera in front of a moving train.]
These common sense gems will leave you sayin, “now why didn’t *I* think of that?”
SAFETY FIRST! Protect your gear. Protect your images. Protect your biz!
#1 The Danger: A shoulder bag, slung across your body, is an efficient, comfy way to access lenses and accessories, but it also makes you an easy target for sticky fingered thieves – especially at night or in a crowded environment.
The Fab Fix: Turn that sucker around! When moving through packs of people, or transitioning between locations, wear the flap against your body to avoid accidental loss or deliberate snatching of valuable equipment.
#2 The Danger: Memory card cases keep your media safe & organized… but who’s protecting the case?
The Fab Fix: Make it a habit to put your card case(s) on your body as a final step before leaving the house, and leave ‘em there until you’re safely in front of a backup device. “But my card wallet is stored securely in my giant rolling bag,” you say. Bags roll away, I say – and with them go the critical assets & once in a lifetime memories of your clients. Ouch.
#3 The Danger: Format your cards in camera – but only when you mean to! One quick slip, one accidental button push, and it’s bye-bye images.
The Fab Fix: After formatting your card, don’t simply exit the menu. Take three-and-a-half seconds to scroll to a non-capture related selection. My choice is BEEP.
SAVE YOUR SANITY! Time is money, and money is snazzy. The following simple steps take only seconds to accomplish, but can save you hours upon hours of life-sucking tedium.
#4 The Time Warp: This is it. The most spectacular sunset you’ve ever shot on the most stunning white sand beach on the planet. A choir of angels literally sings as the pixels arrange themselves lovingly upon your sensor… right underneath an entire litter of dust bunnies. (Bunnies come in litters, right?) Now, instead of sipping a fruity drink & tanning with some island babe, you and your 647 bunnies (are they multiplying??) are at the computer becoming intimately acquainted with the heal brush tool in Photoshop, removing dark, fuzzy spots. Ugh.
The Fab Fix: Rock it. No. ROCKET. Typical air blowers do more wheezing than blowing, but Giotto’s Rocket Air is a blower that actually works brilliantly. Before each shoot, lock up your mirror. Remove your lens/body cap, pointing the open-faced camera at the floor, and blast a few puffs in the direction of your sensor. Your sanity – and your tan – will thank me.
*We’ll be doing a whole blog post on how to clean your sensor showing different techniques.
#5 The Time Warp: Hey wedding photographers – raise your hand if you’ve ever loitered in the parking lot of some hotel, a camera in each hand, a thumb poised precariously above each back button, listening to your partner go, “ok tell me when you get to 10:23:13… no :14… wait… umm… ugh!” Or worse – been struck during the cake cutting that you have five cameras between you and forgot set your clocks that morning. Yup, I’m with you. Time synching between multiple shooters with multiple camera bodies is a pain. Period. And taking the time in post-production to make up for your lapse is mind-numbingly awful.
The Fab Fix: Take a picture. Wait. What? Yup. Just take a picture… of each other… at the very same moment. 1-2-3-snap. Then, when you process the wedding, it’s simply a matter of selecting those shots and aligning the capture time. The best part? Unlike manually synchronizing your bodies, this image grab can happen at any time during the gig! Genius.
#6 The Time Warp: What’s more uncomfortable: A. finding a tactful way to say, “Darling client-of-mine, I can see your undergarments,” or B. the inevitable eye strain and wrist/shoulder/butt cramps from six hours in a chair cloning Hello Kitty boxer shorts out of a two-hour engagement session? (*Ditto bra straps, broccoli in teeth, wedgies, etc.)
The Fab Fix: If you SEE IT – SAY IT! I’ve never met clients who were insulted or offended when I made a suggestion to help them look their absolute best. You’ll save yourself hours of editing by simply addressing potential problems in the moment, rather than shrugging it off as something you can “fix in Photoshop.”
GET SMART! Wasting BIG time fixing TINY mistakes is miserable, but at least you can salvage the all-important image. Sometimes… we’re not so lucky and we miss the shot. Be smart – in seconds.
#7 The Phenomenal Fail: Living on the edge is great for daredevils, but not for your framing. Be careful that your not placing any objects that you definitely want in the photo too close to the edge or they may take a tumble off a cliff (ECHO, Echo, echo…) when you go to straighten the image in let’s say, Lightroom.
The Fab Fix: Pay attention to lines & your body mechanics while hand-holding the camera, or lock it down on a tripod. Practice by shooting architecture and landscape images that rely heavily on liner elements. And for goodness sakes, give your subjects or featured elements some breathing room by not placing them claustrophobically close to the outside edges of your frame.
#8 The Phenomenal Fail: Compose yourself! Did you know, that your camera can rotate? It sure can! I worked with a terrific pro recently on a magazine editorial shoot. His eye for details was impeccable; he lit the scenes beautifully; he charmed the heck out of the client, and he just might have missed his chance to score the cover shot had I not asked, “ooh, have you considered getting THIS crop?” as I turned his camera from landscape to portrait orientation.
The Fab Fix: This is an easy one. Just turn your camera. Really. Train yourself to get the obvious, safe, or comfy shot, and then reorient and recompose. You’d be surprised how neato the world can look just a quarter turn in either direction. Sure, you can crop and change your aspect ratio in post – but you risk losing elements that are critical to the success of your image.
#9 The Phenomenal Fail: Stop hitting yourself, and watch out for that *CHOP* machete! I have to admit, this is my personal pet peeve. Most of us (fortunately) have lived our lives avoiding the fabled finger-lost-to-firecracker accident. In fact, we have a bunch of fingers, a bunch of toes, some arms, some legs, some tails… the basics. Why, oh why, then, photography friends, do we insist on getting all ‘chainsaw massacre’ on our subjects by chopping off body parts willy-nilly or (creepier yet) introducing appendages without owners?
The Fab Fix: Let the people keep their limbs. Ask yourself, “does that arm have an owner?” and then do your best to keep it in frame. Start by not cropping an image directly at the joint, and if given the opportunity to pose your subjects, keep a critical eye out for random peeking protuberances. (C’mon, protuberances? Maybe I took that last one a little far.)
AND WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS…
#10 The Phenomenal Fail: EVERYTHING. Your flash is spitting fire, the white balance is set to oompaloompa orange, there are bubbles in your fisheye, and that once-in-a-lifetime shot of Sasquatch is about to pass you by, what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO??
The Fab Fix: Restore to FACTORY DEFAULTS. LensProToGo Tech Guru Mike tells us that knowing how to navigate your menu system to take all your fancy-pants settings and custom functions back to square one, is the most valuable tip he has. Spend time getting familiar with scrolling through until you can do it in the dark, in a blizzard, in your sleep, etc. It will really save you in a pinch.
And there you have it… some photographic quickies that could make or break your image – and your day! Even better, we’ve got a ton of tips & tricks coming your way; so, stay tuned. Oh, and don’t forget to send along your brilliant ideas… we love to hear ‘em! More quick tips coming soon!