Sometimes it seems impossible to reach my lifelong dream of being a lazy, disorganized, impatient photographer.
Whether I’m producing images for paying clients or pro bono, I want to deliver photographs that meet or exceed the end user’s needs. I try to foresee potential challenges and develop plans to address them. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in solving an expected problem, I don’t see other issues as they arise.
Knowing I would be photographing a singing group against a dark background, and that one of the women has dark hair, I spent a great deal of time testing lighting scenarios that would separate her from the background without lighting the background. That problem was fairly easy to solve with rim lights or a carefully positioned hair light. But I did not anticipate the lighting problems that come with sparkly, sequined dresses.
When Mike Fasth was President of Kinko’s Northwest and I was Marketing Director, we traveled to stores all the time, and Mike observed, “the cleaner the store is, the dirtier it looks.” He meant that in a messy and cluttered store, you wouldn’t really notice a piece of paper on the floor, but in a pristine environment, a single paper clip out of place could command one’s attention. As my photography improves, I find that details I would have ignored three years ago now cause me to toss and turn all night. I don’t mind, really, because learning a craft with endless possibilities requires the acceptance of endless challenges. My advice to you, dear readers, is to take advantage of your digital camera’s built-in monitor and study your images carefully before moving on to the next adventure. I’ve been using Photoshop since the early 1990s, and I can assure you that most of the time, it’s much easier to get it right in camera than to fix it in post.