Learning Through Doing

I recently shot an engagement shoot downtown in the Gaslamp District (San Diego, CA for my international readers) for 2 young, photogenic lovebirds.  We didn’t know each other at all before meeting at a local coffee shop, but I had conversed with the bride-to-be via telephone to get a quick idea of what they were looking for.  As with all my shoots, more ideas of what we could do were popping up as we went, but nonetheless, I think the session was a success, and the two have since told me that they very happy with the images.

Here are a couple of my takeaways from the experience:

  • Bring less gear. I came with 4 lenses so I could adapt to different angles and other such nonsense.  I did get final images with each of the four, but really could have gotten away with shooting everything with my 50mm 1.4, and a longer lens.
  • Go with my gut instinct. I had a few ideas that I really wanted to do with this couple, but in the first 20 minutes didn’t have the guts and instead went for the safe shots (which I’ll add were all unusable).  I like the shot above, but this was around mid-shoot where I was starting to loosen up.  Not my favorite of the day, but still one that I like, and think really captured them.
  • Don’t be afraid to take more time with my shots. It might sound strange, but these two were so good at getting into shots and just staring back at me through my viewfinder that I felt uncomfortable really making sure I had the shots I wanted.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m still trying to get more comfortable in the role of Director.
  • Know my gear. It was a bright sunny day, and I had wanted to overcome the Sun with my sb800 in FP mode.  For whatever reason, I had switched this off in the days preceding, and on scene could not quickly get it back into that mode.  Rather than fiddle around with my gear (which would not have been good either), I just gave up trying after a few minutes, and at the end of the shoot, snapped off a few images that I really liked only by shooting at f/11.

About Bryan Oster

Photographer of people and food. You can see some of my work at my site (www.bryanoster.com), and at my blog (www.bryanoster.wordpress.com).
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