Friday 5

1. What kind of preparation goes into a shoot before the actual shoot itself?

After I've coordinated a location, time and package for a client I check in with them about a week before our actual session to finalize the details, send them a helpful information sheet and forward them a copy of their contract. The night before a session I charge of my batteries, clear out my memory cards, clean my lenses, my camera and make sure all my camera settings are back to my usual shooting defaults. I never want to walk onto a shoot unprepared or having to make all those adjustments in front of a client!

2. I know you like to shoot outdoors, but what do you do for indoor shots? Do you use your flash?

Natural light will almost always look more flattering than light from a flash. If I find myself shooting indoors for events or even just personal images, I will turn my ISO up to allow for the low-light. Even with a lot of bright lights on indoors, it doesn't compare to natural sun-light, even in overcast weather. I also use an SB-600 flash made by Nikon. It is so much more flattering than the little on-camera flash that pops up on my D7000.

3. What is the greatest compliment you've received to date?

A friend and I were discussing a recent wedding invitation we'd both received when she asked me if I'd taken the photographs for it (opening a wedding invite with my pictures is like Christmas morning!). She said that she thought I had, because just looking at the images she thought they were "my style" and "my work".  I don't think she realized she was giving me a compliment, but it meant so much to me that someone could identify my work like that. A photographer is always crafting his style and point of view and I finally feel like I have found mine.

4. Along with the same question above, what is your greatest reward from your business?

I love seeing my work in my clients homes. Whether it's on the refrigerator, over the mantel or in frames along a bookcase, I get warm fuzzies. It means so much to me that clients love their images enough to want to proudly display them in their homes and for all their friends and family to see. I love walking into my siblings and parents homes to see my images all over the walls - it's often hard to spot one I haven't taken. It really gives me the confidence to keep going and growing as a photographer.

5. Have you ever had any really weird requests? For like poses or locations or something.

I'm happy to oblige my clients in any request they may have, within reason of course. That's the beauty of digital - if it doesn't work, it's not as if I have wasted a frame of film. I find that sometimes kids want to be extra silly or might have an odd pose they'd like to shoot. Instead of forcing them to smile or pose for those "over the mantel" photos, I am happy to take their silly picture. They feel a part of the session and don't go into a meltdown, which makes the shoot easier overall.

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