I can probably say that in my current state as a photographer, I have charged a fee in exchange for my service and my client trusts my ability to deliver relative to their expectation. I’m a professional photographer, but despite of all my long experiences, I’m not exempted to mistakes just like any other rookie out there.
In one of my commercial shoot, I was surprise to see the settings of my camera at ISO1600. There’s nothing wrong using high ISO especially if your camera is capable of shooting better ISO or if your intention is to shoot it at high ISO. But if you were unaware of your settings, that’s where the problem comes. It only means that you were not checking your settings before you took the shot.
Sometimes when you’re too dependent on the LCD display and you just wait and see what you’ve got so you can adjust accordingly, it only means that you’ve become reactive to the situation rather than being proactive and be on top of it. You tend to miss the moment when you react to the situation. Moments that could have been the shot you’re after.
You tell people that the camera is like an extension of your hands that it’s almost like breathing, you don’t think about it, it works in your subconscious mind. Yes, at some point it’s true but as a professional, you have to cover all the possible areas that you can make a mistake. Staying ahead of the situation and focusing on the objective. That’s what professionals do.
Reflecting on your performance after a shoot helps you identify things you could have done better. It’s not a fix but it will help in avoiding the same mistakes on the coming projects. Unfortunately, unlike photography skills, it can’t be learned through workshops, presence of mind can only be learned by experiencing it over and over again.
Maybe it’s too much confidence or losing your focus, either way, it spells disaster. There’s so much things that can go wrong in a shoot and being ready to find quick solution is expected from you. Sometimes when you’re doing photography as a hobby, you tend to let go of some lapses on your part. That slows your learning.
Even if you’re doing photography for personal pleasure, you have to set a standard for your to aim. You have to move to a certain level where you can explore more and help you sharpen your skills. Mistakes will always be there but it can also be corrected before it becomes part of the result.
Keep on shooting everyone! www.albertpedrosa.com
Text by Albert Pedrosa