If you’re like us when you’re shooting a wedding or portrait session, you probably don’t have time to take a five minute break in the middle of the shoot to think about and focus on photography.
That might sound silly. I mean, you’re in the middle of a session, all you should be doing is photography, right?
Well, often the task of interacting with the client takes priority and you end up forgetting to do a lot of the techniques you were thinking about the night before, or last week, or whenever you actually had time to think about your work last!
Start taking steps to ensure that you are mentally prepared for shooting. These simple steps can result in a huge improvement in your work, and the experience of your shoot.
- Get to the location earlier than your clients. Sometimes locations will change a bit since you scouted – the light will be different, areas will be closed off, formerly beautiful leaves will now be on the ground, etc. Being early allows you one final look around to make sure you’re familiar with your spot, and to relax a bit before you dive in.
- Take the time to rehearse the clients’ names to make sure you get them right during the shoot. I really can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. Know your clients’ names. It’s also useful to know their story, and why they are getting their photos taken
- Finally, spend a few minutes quietly thinking about what you’d like to accomplish with this shoot, new techniques you’d like to try, and areas to focus on for improvement. This is critical for getting into the right mindset for the shoot. It takes a lot of mental focus to photograph people well, and ensuring that you’re completely engaged in the task ahead will go very far in creating the best images you can, as well as providing the best experience for your clients.
This all might seem like overkill to just take some portraits, but I think you’ll find that if you spend just a little bit of time before each shoot thinking about photography and your clients that you’ll enjoy the shoot so much more.
You’ll also feel more confident and relaxed, which always translates to a better experience for your subjects!
What do you do before a shoot to get into the right mindset?