It's Just Pushing A Button Isn't It?

January 24, 2015

So you've booked a photo shoot with a photographer and you think all they have to do is turn up press a button right? Wrong haha. Here's what happened to me earlier this week and what I had to do before, during and after a shoot.

Before:

So it's Monday just after lunch around 13:30 and I get an email asking if I could take some portraits of Boxer's and Muay Thai fighter's that evening. Great! I've had some work booked and I couldn't be happier.

What do I have to do now you ask? Just turn up at the shoot and snap away? Course not. I've now got to stick all 21 batteries on charge (can only do 8 at a time) which takes a couple of hours. Clean all my lenses and make sure there's no dirt on them. I've got to work out what gear I'm taking. Here's a run down of a list which I have to check and make sure is working properly:

  • Camera
  • Backup camera
  • Four lenses
  • Three Flashes
  • Four wireless triggers
  • Five light stands
  • Camera tripod
  • Two large softboxes
  • Octobox
  • The car!!!

Oh yeah don't forget about the car. Now I have to go to the garage and make sure I've got enough fuel for the 12 mile journey. 24 miles there and back all in.

It's now approaching 17:00 and I need to start thinking about dinner because we don't want to go to work hungry now do we? Especially as I know I won't be home until around 21:45-22:00.

Also I need to find an assistant for this shoot because after researching the area it looks like I have to park a few blocks away and I can't carry all my gear by myself. So after routing around I find a friend who's free and can help.

Now it's 19:00 I'm all fed and watered. Bags are all packed. Car loaded. Got my house keys? Yep! Off to get the assistant I go!

During:

By this time it's 20:10 and I arrive at the location and meet who I'm supposed to meet and take a look around the place. We sort out where we're shooting and start getting setup.

For this particular shoot it took me around 30mins to get in, meet and setup. Which is a bit longer than I like. The longer you take when you're on limited time then the less time you have to do the important bit! Take photographs!!! It's good to know what you're doing so you can get right in there and get it done. No experimenting with setups etc. Get in there and hit it in these situations.

Anyway things go well in the shoot and we get some great shots of the fighters.

It's now 21:15 and we have to pack up. Packing up is easy and takes around 15 mins. Then the 10 minute walk back to the car (in the rain!!) and to drop the assistant off. 21:55 and I'm tired. Drive back to my house I go and I have to unpack the car and put all my gear away. Load the computer up and back the photos up onto disk.

23:10 Nighty night time is upon us and I have a 6:30am rise. ZZzzzz....

After:

It's now 19:00 next evening. Oh wait! You think I'm gonna get up and start in the morning? No I've got other stuff to do as well. I've got family, places to go and jobs to do. We get a cup of tea and open up Adobe Lightroom and see how the photo's are looking. Yeah there's some good ones, couple of rubbish ones where people blink as the lights flash or they're just not looking at the camera etc. Also a few test shots that we can reject.

Now I've got 5 boxers to edit. 5 backgrounds to edit. Then create 5 high end portrait images that can be used commercially and promotionally. Each of these images took around 1hr 15mins to edit. Obviously I'm not going to sit there for 6hrs 15mins straight editing those together so I did two an evening which was 2hrs 30 mins each night from around 19:00 for 3 nights straight. All images were sent to the client Friday night!

Five Days, Five shots.

Conclusion:

That's what happens every time a customer books a photographer. We don't just turn up and press the button a few times and amazing pictures fall out of the camera because it's a big expensive one and we have huge lenses and lots of flashy lights lol.

So I hope you understand a bit more about what we poor buggers have to do to make you look amazing each shoot!

Here's what the final shot looks like:

boxer, boxing, chandlers ford, fight, fitness, male, muay thai, portrait, southampton, sportsBoxer Portraitboxer, boxing, chandlers ford, fight, fitness, male, muay thai, portrait, southampton, sports

boxer, boxing, chandlers ford, fight, fitness, male, muay thai, portrait, southampton, sportsMuay Thai - Portrait©2015 Derek Johnston Photography
boxer, boxing, chandlers ford, fight, fitness, male, muay thai, portrait, southampton, sports

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