Monthly Archives: November 2020
Self said yes, so here it is.
Yesterday I do my first real photo shoot. I mean I’ve been the guy with the camera. I’ve even been the “official photographer,” but for events with a lot of people where it’s not a direct, one-on-one situation. It started with me catching a request for recommendation for a photographer in the area to shoot some photos for the holidays at the Jefferson Memorial. The post was in a scenic photography Facebook group, and I almost responded within a couple of minutes. But Self intervened and inserted doubts: “Are you ready to do this?” So I let it ride for a day, but nobody else responded. So I sent a private message.
I was honest with Sally – I’ve never done this before. I’ll put together a promo photo shoot package, you let me use the photos for that purpose, I won’t charge you anything, we’ll see what we get. Sally and her husband Max hadn’t had any photos together for several years, and they were willng to give it a shot, so we set a date.
Forecast called for rain, news called for a massive “Trump Train” around the Beltway, so we delayed a week. That delay took us to yesterday, which turned out to be a beautiful day with clear skies and 70 degree weather. As is my habit, I left very early so I’d have time to park, scout some spots, and be comfortable. I filled the Juke, headed to DC, got exactly where I wanted to be without a hitch, paid for parking, and took the short walk to the memorial.
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial was surrounded by scaffolding.
The interior was open, but there was nothing photogenic about the exterior. I texted Sally a photo, they were on their way, and we decided to move forward. Sally got there shortly after our scheduled time, while Max parked the car. He made his way over, we chatted for a few minutes, and went to work. Again, I was very honest – this is my first “shoot” so I’m open to your ideas.
We had a lot of fun, and although I learned a tough lesson about when f:1.2 isn’t appropriate, I think we got at least an acceptable number of workable photographs to choose from. They are going through the steps of selecting photos for retouching now, and I’ll post some once we have those done.
So why did I have concerns about posting this? Because I’m a photographer for hire, and telling you that I’ve never done a photo shoot before kind of screams “inexperience.” But I was honest about it, and I think I was able to give my part in a great experience. I went home confident that I will be a fun person to hire to get some great photos.
While we work on Sally & Max’s photos…here’s a shot of my favorite Founding Father.
I spent a little bit of time this weekend scouting some portrait locations. It’s not as easy as you may think!
Public locations are…public. Some have guidelines on use for photography, some require a permit be obtained. Some have fees just to enter, like certain public parks. Whether any of this applies or not, they are public spaces, so you may have crowds to deal with, and there’s always weather and lighting conditions to consider.
This effort came about at this time (I’m always looking) because I had a shoot scheduled for Sunday in D.C., but I caught on the news that there was supposed to be a “Trump Train” around the Capitol Beltway, and all the sudden the idea of going to the Jefferson Memorial became less appealing. We’re rescheduling, so I wanted to take that time to look for some spots in the area.
One of the spots I wanted to look at again was the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Site, and I was very pleased with what I found looking at it from this perspective. Brick buildings with white doors/windows and green shutters. Trees and grass, white fences. Best of all, this historic farmhouse tucked away in the trees.
Plus there’s ample free parking, good access, and it’s close enough to town that having a post-shoot lunch with a client is an inviting idea.
It’s a lot too think about, and I’m creating some pages for some of my favorite spots so you can get an idea of some attractive spots in our area. I’m open to your ideas too!