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What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 06:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I thought this question might get some of your pro experience for us beginners :-)

What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?


For example... I have my first shoot coming up. It is voluntary work for a cheerleading team (Seniors and Juniors) who probably don't have the dough to pay for their team photo. I have a Nikon D50, a brand new gold/white reflector, a brand new 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor lens, a couple of other longer/slower lenses, and a tripod. Oh, and enthusiasm ;-) I intend to shoot on a field with them in mid-late afternoon, and perhaps use a few printed poses that I like which I can ask them to do to make the scenes more interesting.

Besides my specific situation, perhaps some of the more experienced members could give general "I wish I knew..." advice for others of us less-experienced?


Many, many, many thanks in advance.

Daniel.
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are shooting individual people, the 50 should be fine.
If you are going for groups, the whole team, or action shots I would think a wide angle would be a good idea.
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't get to caught up in the moment! You have to step back and make sure the light is right, the backgrounds clear, the equiptment working etc. Take your time and make sure you are doing it right the first time.

Good luck!
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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One thing I learned in wedding photography. Every subject has an idea, image, or someone very important to them that they want images of themselves together with. You may think you nailed the shoot--only to find out later that you missed a very simple idea/concept that the customer/client was looking for. Even if you are shooting this pro-bono...you need to ensure you get feedback a day prior to the event so that you can envision everything in your head from the time you leave your house to the time that you return. If you know all of their expectations ahead of time--then when you nail the shoot--you truly nail it.

ie....two of the cheerleaders may have been best friends for the last 12 years and do not have ANY pictures together--this is your opportunity to provide them with just that! Ask questions, get feedback, go in confident and aware--and you'll nail it.
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 12:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have done cheerleaders and sports players for 25 years. A few things I wish I had done different the first time? Don't have them face into the sun, pay attention to the background (try to eliminate distractions), and (since you are digital) don't shoot just one shot of a pose (edit later).
With cheerleaders, be sure you DO NOT get a shot of their panties, no matter how short the skirt and have the coach or a mom stand by to adjust bra straps. Keep hands off. You will immediately be pegged as a dirty old man (high school girls and their parents are like that). Also, if you are doing a group shot, do more than one setup. Let them or their coach set up at least one.
Mind your manners and keep your cool, even if they test your temper. My biggest complaint is that no matter what you say ahead of time, someone will show up with a camera and want to shoot every shot you take. Politely explain that you are here to make a living and that whatever they take, they will probably give away... which will keep you from making a living.
I always shoot with the camera on manual and use a fill flash on manual. But if you use a reflector, you will do pretty good. Just be sure to get in close to the face for a meter reading and don't worry so much about the background. If it is one stop over or under exposed, it isn't as important as if the face is underexposed.
Be prepared. Be professional. Be courteous. Be willing to adapt. And if they order pictures, get your money up front. You can't set them up on a shelf and sell them to someone else if they don't pay or pick them up. Rick from Arkansas
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel_D50
I thought this question might get some of your pro experience for us beginners :-)

What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?

Daniel.
Daniel,

WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT

For every person that can not afford you, there is another one refusing to pay for something that cheap. go figure!

Photography is not about you, it's about them. You take that simple concept and you will be successful.

J T
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-21-2006, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just a thought here. If you have a year book or 2 around. Take a look at some of the shots in there as well. While I was taking pictures for my high school year book, I had the cheerleaders do the kneeling pyramid. Couple of action shots while in a cheer. My best advice I can give you though is, if you happen to be on the field while they are practicing or its a football game what ever. Stay away from the flying batons and kicking legs! Nearly got my camera and myself kicked that way multiple times.

Good luck with your shoot!

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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-23-2006, 02:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You guys are so awesome. Thanks for all the advice. :-)

Daniel.
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-25-2006, 11:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Two things...

First not to waste my money on the cheap gear, it's not worth it and will cost more in both money and frustration in the end. I know it sounds snobbish but I've been there and done that. I'm talking about cheap flashes and lenses.

Second, what JT said. At least I wish I knew that when I started shooting women.
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Re: What do you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Old 09-26-2006, 02:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnieR
Two things...

First not to waste my money on the cheap gear.... (snip)... I'm talking about cheap flashes and lenses.
Thanks Ernie! I just discovered the limitations of cheap gear. I am still on my first DSLR (a Nikon D50) with both kit lenses, and a brand spanking new 50mm f/1.8 prime. I found the kit lenses extremely limiting. Very difficult to focus sharply, slow, etc. However, the 70-300mm (fully extended with lense hood on) looks mighty mean when out at a sporting event compared to the P&S cameras all over the place. I have been asked numerous times which paper I shoot for just because of that. The paper that I shoot for is the folding kind which goes in my wallet. Hehehehe...

I still need a speedlight, and the budget one is about $400 (Australian, maybe about $300 USD) which is a Nikon SB600. My brother has one and seems to do fine, but apparently it is not full manual. I guess I have to weight that up against a longer, faster lens for some sporting shots, and my wishlist full of studio lighting... Ah, who needs money when you have photographic equipment?

;-)

Daniel.
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