Shooting Less is More.
When digital cameras first became popular, I remember photographers who started taking 500 images at a wedding because they no longer had to worry about the cost of film. I even remember encouraging a few of them myself. After all, pixels are free, and if you don’t like the image later, it is easy to delete.
Of course, there were a few “die-hards” who continued to take dozens of images – like they did in film – and I tried to encourage them to take a few more images than they used to. After all, don’t top-end fashion photographers take dozens of shots of the same subject just to find the perfect pose?
I’ve come full-circle on the subject. Now I believe shooting less is more.
• Photographers who shoot 500 images tend to show the client too many proofs. While choice is better in general, scientific studies have proven that too much choice confuses us, then stresses us, then tires us out. No one wants to sit through 2-3 hours looking at dozens of similar photos.
• Clients assume professional photographers are artists who know great photography, and only show them the best images. When clients are asked to decide among three or four versions of a cake photo, they begin to question that assumption.
• Shooting more images costs more time. It takes 5 times as long to edit 500 images in Lightroom as it does to edit 100 images. You are a professional. Your time is worth money.
• Pre-planning pays off. Before digital, professional photographers would take the time to visit a venue, discover some great locations, and give more thought to posing. Even if you are striving for a photojournalistic style, I’ve read that the best photojournalists spend time beforehand to make a shot look natural and candid.
• You don’t want to be compared to amateurs. If Uncle John just got a Canon EOS Rebel and suddenly thinks he’s a photographer, he’s going to set it to automatic and take a DVD full of photos. You don’t ever want your clients to compare you to Uncle John.
I’m not saying that if you unexpectedly see a great shot you shouldn’t take it. But if you learn the lessons from the old-timers – know your equipment, know your venue, and know how to pose – you should be able to get great photographs with fewer shots. That’s the mark of a professional.
What do you think?
Tags: photographypermalink |