Session Planning

I have been teased about being overly sensitive about small details and using time to fix them. Well, this is about the planning of a specific photo, we should step back and consider planning the event.

I have mentioned in other posts about planning your shots, choosing your locations and getting it written, but what about plans for specific events such as weddings, graduations, engagements or family portraits.

Ask (according to the event) for a list of photo priorities.

Write down and give a kind of visual demonstration shots you have in mind for the session.

Keep a list of poses and shots for “plan ‘B'”.

Weddings are events that the bride and groom will remember and certainly one that they want photographs of for time to come. Photos of weddings are all over the place and there will be almost without exception a photo or two that the bride will want of her and her man, so it is a good idea to ask her to make a list of her priority shots. Keep the list close on the wedding day. You can almost guarantee that the wedding day will be filled with nerves and schedules not making any of their deadlines.

After interviewing the couple there may come to mind a few shots which are perfect for them. Keep good notes for later reference. These shots will come in handy as you have already taken the stock wedding shots and one party or the other are busy.

‘Plan “B”‘ can take several forms. One solution is to have a second photographer picking up shots simultaneously to your own.

Another alternative could be taking two or three days before the wedding to stage the shots with the couple and taking candid shots “in the moment” during the ceremony.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Lists of shots

This post will not be as in-depth as others but if you take it seriously, can leave you with a very large load of homework. *Grin*

It has been my experience that I have all of these great shots in my head that I can either set-up or capture in theory. (In other words all of the elements I see in my imagination have been seen together at one time, at the same time.) However, when I find myself in a place that I have imagined a shot, I can not remember the elements I previously envisioned! Perhaps you also have experienced that disappointment and  horror of not being able to provide the photos I had in mind for my customer, now feeling like I will have to sell the shots I currently have twice as hard to make up for my lost enthusiasm. (This photo was taken in October of 2011. This is one of the times when I saw the shot, remembering it was something I had imagined without requiring me to add extra elements before immortalizing the scene.)

Here is how I am changing that costly error.

I have begun making a list of shots to compose by category, location, priority or time of day. (A time-saving tip is to input all of this information into a spread-sheet and then when I am ready to print a hard copy of my list I can prioritize them in the order that I will be shooting.)

I do not know about the rest of you, but I think about the next better shot all the time. My imagination especially runs wild after a shoot and I have just taken some exceptional shots. After I come down from the high of “a job well done”, I catalog the position and settings of the equipment set-up asking “What made the difference?” and every other question “9 ways from Sunday” about how it can be made better.