I still get anxious when I get a call for a job despite my so-called years of experience.
I don’t think that ever goes away, nor do I want it to.
When I was at the Riverside newspaper, the Press-Enterprise, I made pictures daily.
I soon realized I didn’t need my boss to tell me how well I did with my pictures.
There was no hiding behind a pseudonym or a fake byline if the picture was badly done.
So having some anxiety before an assignment is a good thing for me.
It makes me try my best each and every time whether it’s a portrait or an important sporting event.
I must have been a boy scout in my youth ( I was) and flight training taught me that flying is a series of corrections and planning.
To this day, I try to anticipate as much as possible.
I carry 2 camera bodies even if I only use one.
I always have ample supply of memory cards and camera batteries.
The only thing I can’t control in most instances is how much time my subjects allow me and that’s why I practice a lot.
Pictures of live events are typically candids where the photographer is just reacting and documenting what happened instead of staging and directing each shot.
There is hardly any pressure of ‘blowing a shot’ in those situations unlike covering a live sports event for the newspaper.
On the other hand, those very formal pictures that become the hanging portrait on the wall, requires more thought, planning and lighting skill.
Seldom do I have the luxury of a lot of time to do the actual picture-taking like when photographing 5 Riverside County Supervisors.
I set up in a small room right next door to the board room and whenever the supervisors had a moment, they were ushered in and I got 5 mins each of their time.
That’s why I have to know my gear well and my gear has to work.
Gear for events
- 2 camera bodies. 1 body fitted with wide angle lens; the other body with a longer zoom lens
- At least 1 Speedlite
- Optional 2nd Speedlite for lighting small groups
- Optional light stands
Gear for Portraits
- 1 camera body with maybe 2 prime lenses or a 80-200 zoom
- At least 2 Speedlites
- 1 reflector
- 3 lightstands
- Radio or some other method to trigger Speedlites off-camera
- Light modifiers for Speedlites, umbrellas, softboxes
Whenever I can, I practice by shooting on location every chance I get.
Why on-location instead of a studio, you might ask?