I have a little time between editing shoots this afternoon to answer a few questions I have been asked over on my formspring. Because you have the option to ask questions anonymously, I’m not certain who asked these. I figured I’d take a few of the most frequently asked ones and post them here. To everyone who comes here to see photos and doesn’t really care about the technical stuff, please excuse this post.
I never shoot in direct sunlight if I can help it. I always look for open shade with natural (or mine, if I need it) reflectors. The only time I shoot in direct sunlight is when I’m wanting sunflare or a backlit photo – then I shoot them with their backs to it – never their fronts.
-Do you prefer the automatic, or manual settings on your camera? Any advantages/disadvantages that you’ve found in either?
Manual. All manual. It’s what I taught myself in and I have never used other settings. Once again, personal preference – but I like to be in control of everything (exposure, DOF, shutter speed), so I choose all of the settings myself.
I do not charge by the hour, because you never know what could happen during a shoot or how long it will take your client to become comfortable in front of the camera. I also feel like time restrictions makes both me and the client feel pressured to nail shots. I shoot until we are both comfortable with the outcome – usually an hour or two. Once they realize just how MANY photos I’ve taken in that amount of time, they feel good about it. I shoot in manual and stay on focus the entire shoot, so not much time is wasted at all.
I let the clients build their package (shooting fee (non-negotiable) + products they want) and that’s how I charge.
-Do you have any tips for fellow photographers shooting in a public place- such as a park or recreation center; to make the client feel more comfortable?
I’ve never really had an issue with my client feeling uncomfortable in public. I think since they know they have paid for a photography session, they focus on the task at hand and getting great photos.
If I have an idea for a place to shoot and there are other people around, I’ll ask if they’d feel comfortable. If not, then we just go somewhere else – no big deal.
-Do you have a supply of props you use for your clients, have them bring their own to photoshoots- or a mixture of both?
Both. I don’t really have a supply, but I have a few things that I have acquired. I sometimes look while I’m out or if I have an idea in mind, I’ll look online for what I have in mind. I like it best when they bring something personal to them along to the shoot – so their photos reflect THEM and are more personal to their style.
And because posts are better with pretty pictures, here is a shot from my session with Sarah Belle this past week.
Manual & Natural light – 35mm, f/1.8, 1/80 sec shutter speed, 400 ISO