#1 Buy a Truck.
First of all, it would be extremely helpful in hauling around all of our "stuff." There's more than what meets the eye to photography. In addition to what's in the bag (camera, lenses, memory cards), you must also pack along a reflector and a step stool. Depending on location, sometimes we bring chairs or props, which take up even more space. Unfortunately, both Kristi and I drive small cars so we try to stuff whatever we can into the little vehicles that we have. We have borrowed our parents' larger vehicles many-a-time when we have purchased furniture at thrift stores, auctions, and antique malls.
Not only would a truck be ideal for carrying anything and everything under the sun, but it can always be used as it's own "step stool" as Kristi is doing in the above photo. You would never know that she is scared of heights!
#2. Be in the Way.Often, the best shots are snapped at the most inopportune times, in the most inopportune locations. However, as a photographer, if there is a moment to be captured, you must capture it, no matter where that puts you. If you are going to hide out in the corner all night long, you won't get much. With that being said, I always say that I wish I was an invisible photographer. I believe the truest, more genuine moments are captured in the candidness of life, and if I was invisible, not only could I stay "out of the way" but no one would even know I was there. Clearly, the guy in the above picture knew I was there, and he was ready to leave. =)
3. Know Where Your Camera is... At All Times.Or else it can end up in the hands of someone who doesn't stop taking pictures... of the photographers. As Kristi always says... "there's a reason I'm on the other side of the lens."
#4. Know Your Angle.
A great picture can be made even better by putting a creative twist on it, and this can be done by switching up your angle. Shooting "down" on people is usually the most flattering, as long as they tilt their faces up and don't look distorted. Shooting "up" can have it's creative payoffs, but can sometimes lead to unflattering results. My personal favorite is laying flat on the ground and getting the ground on up, which is an interesting angle and includes grass, sky, and people all in one shot.
#5. Participate.Depending on your subjects, you can be in for a really interesting shoot! Sometimes, you have to be willing to get into the action and show people what you want. Kristi is usually better at "showing" what she wants rather than telling, as you see in the above picture. Although, I'm not sure the groom is paying attention?
#6. Have a Clone.That way, your duplicate could show your subject what you want while you could frame up the shot and be ready to snap it the very next second. Of course, that's the beauty of having a photographer team mate system (such as what Kristi and I have), but, you know. A clone would be nice, too.
#7. Know Your Equipment.Kristi and I call this the "sun beam." Formerly known as "the circle thing," we use this for a variety of purposes, including blocking the sunlight, and sometimes add light in on certain situations. It's helpful to know what's available to you to make your shot even better.
#8. Take Risks.Even if that means standing (or sitting... or laying) in the middle of the road to get the picture. Also, this can apply to the shots that you take. If you never take risks, you'll end up with the same batch of pictures every time. Some of my most favorite pictures have resulted from trying something new. Sometimes it fails... but often, it pays off.
#9. Own a Golf Cart.Since our very first shoot, Kristi and I noted that owning a golf cart would most likely solve all of our problems. Although, I will say, our photo shoots are where we get all of our exercise. We usually do a lot of walking, and we have a decently heavy camera bag, a step stool, and the sunbeam to carry. If we had a golf cart, we could load the thing up with supplies and people and be on our way.
#10. Get Close.
If you have the right lens, you can stand several feet away from someone and still get an extreme close up. But my favorite shots are the ones that are taken with either a wide angle lens, or a prime lens (like a 50mm) in which you are super close in proximity to your subject. I was not always comfortable doing this, but have definitely warmed up to the art of getting up close and personal.
Love you all!