Being a Boy Scout by +Raven

Being a photographer is a lot like being a Boy Scout {or so I’m told}. It means being prepared.

Always. FOR ANYTHING. Especially as a wedding photographer.

It’s happened before where I’ll bring a group of interns out to shoot in some crazy condition or another, and at the end of the session, when I ask if they learned anything, etc., they responded “well, yeah, but I wouldn’t bring my clients out in the pitch black/the snow/in full sunlight/etc.”

Which really, is ridiculous. Your client has faith in you to make the best possible images out of even the worst possible scenarios.

Not two weeks after I took some clients out in the pitch black of night to shoot them, I shot a wedding in which almost every one of the formal pictures, including those of the bride and groom, had to be shot outside at 9:00pm.

I wasn’t worried; I had just practiced this type of situation. And everything went swimmingly.

And personally? I think it would be amazing to get married when it’s snowing. And I would never, EVER hire a photographer who wasn’t willing to get into knee-deep snow to get those last amazing shots on my wedding day. Because I know that I would do that for MY brides. In a heartbeat.

We’re not a bunch of namby-pamby’s, here. We get into waist-deep water. We shoot in the snow. We shoot in the dead of the night. We lay down, we jump around, we launch ourselves off of chairs, we fling our cameras around our heads by the straps! {Well, maybe not that last one. But we would if it were required and we could do it safely.}

Break out of your comfort zone. Stop shooting only in the Golden Hour. You know what I’m talking about. Is it beautiful? YES. Is it ideal? YES. Is it the situation you’ll always be given? NO. And I certainly hope it’s not.

Do completely wacky shoots, force yourself to branch, and stretch. Shoot in conditions you don’t think you’ll ever be in.

Because guess what? You’ll find yourself in those same conditions again. And you’ll be prepared.

Don’t forget: You. Are. Awesome.

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  • Tristan Brenske 19 Jan 12 at 2:39 pm

    good advice! ive shot one wedding and the experience was truly traumatizing! due to the fact that i wasnt prepared for the conditions. in my brain, everything must stay on schedule but in reality thats not always the case. i learned a valuable lesson which is exactly what youre talking about: be prepared for any condition!

  • Alexandra Senecal Miller 23 Jan 12 at 7:33 pm

    So well written Raven! Being a photographer is being a problem solver – how to get that rampaging toddler to slow down for a split second, how to make this family feel relaxed so their family picture doesn't look like rigor mortis has set in, how to keep this 9 day old baby asleep so you can put him in ridiculous hats.