One of the things photographers must do is practice. Photographers must see their craft as if they are a sports star. The paid event is the time to shine and put on display talents that will wow the customer. Paid sessions, aren’t the time to try out some super creative idea that just came to your mind, they are about results. You must show up to your paid shoots ready to get results for your customers. When I do a practice session I am looking to improve on,
- Order of my photography process.
- Confidence in any condition.
- Capturing “wowing” results.
In order to get these things to happen on paid shoots you must practice. As a photographer, I have had to do plenty of free shoots just to keep my skills up with the great photogs in the Tampa Bay area. We all desire a ton of paid customers but you will get more customers if you constantly show an improving skill set. Here are some tips that I use for practice shoots.
- Find a person (outside of family memebers) you can practice with for multiple sessions. Let them know this is a practice shoot for you and what your approach is going to be. If the person can’t commit to multiple shoots then find another person. You must work with a person that you are comfortable with and understands that you will be a bit slower and mechanical at the shoot.
- Schedule a practice shoot monthly.
- Shoot at locations where you would take paying customers.
- Keep shoots to one hour.
- Keep shoots to one wardrobe.
- Shoot one location, two spots.
- Decide on natural light or strobe.
- Work to deliver up to 5 great images.
- Work slow, check surroundings, understand wind, light, time of day and other things that will help you in the future. Look for small details.
- Do a pre video before the shoot logging your expectations, location and weather challenges. (add pics and upload to YouTube if you wish)
- Audio log your experience right after the shoot. Don’t wait to write your notes later. While it is fresh be honest and critical. Review audio log later.
- Get feedback from the model.
- The next day, make changes to your website or process.
- Throw your results up on social media.
Good luck on your continued improvement.