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Shooting to an agenda


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Shooting to an agenda

11 May 2021 8:05AM   Views : 411 Unique : 292


The joy of being an amateur is that nobody provides a list of shots that HAVE to be taken. (If you’ve ever agreed to do a wedding album for a friend who’s marrying on a shoestring, you’ll understand just how good that is!) Professionals have limited time and there’s always someone setting a standard, even if it’s not explicit: if they fail to deliver the goods with a spectacular set-piece portrait, clients will ask why their friends have had ‘better’ portraits taken.

For instance, if you are shooting a car rally, you need a half-decent action shot of every vehicle: station yourself on a likely corner and make sure you begin with an empty card and a full battery! Back in the days of film, I shot at an awards evening for the swimming club my children were in – I needed three or four films, and a flashgun that recycled in five seconds for a couple of hundred frames. I only missed a few while changing films… A Metz shoulder pack sorted the flash issue.

Glamour photographers suffer: a day with a beautiful model sounds great, but that means six or eight hours’ hard graft, and eight or ten ‘sets’ – a series of images with different costume and background, going from fully clothed to nudity. Every one I’ve asked has confirmed that getting nice even lighting matters more than anything creative…


My interview with Phil Taylor a couple of years back set out some of the problems press photographers face – largely a race to get images to news desks before anyone else does. But there’s also the competition from everybody with a mobile and the will to push to the front of a crowd.

I’ve done a few weddings for friends – and while the budget may be shoestring, the bride’s mum usually has a long list of shots that have to be taken. One chilly day, imagine my delight when the bride and groom surveyed the elderly relatives and the chilly churchyard and decided that we would abandon the set piece groups!

This is all in my mind because my first time back in a studio is on Monday, with an agenda. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I’m offering small-scale and tailored studio tuition with Misuzu. However, though we’ve worked together several times, we’ve mostly worked outdoors! So we’re off to a studio to produce sets of pictures showing off the different styles and looks that we can demonstrate with one, two or (possibly) three studio flash units and some basic softboxes.


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.2k 2064 England
11 May 2021 8:06AM
How's that as a reason for posting three images of Misuzu?
kaybee Avatar
kaybee 19 8.7k 29 Scotland
11 May 2021 9:33AM
My word she has a big pair of glasses.
Mrserenesunrise Avatar
11 May 2021 9:52AM
No excuse needed to posting any images of Misuzu 😊

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