My First Photo Shoot
by Avril McPherson
How I Got Started in Photography
Little did I know how hooked I would become – my mediation, my passion, my obsession.
For the most part, I have been drawn to landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, and aircraft. The first three because of the beauty only photographers get to see through the lens.
I adore the vibrant colours of trees and flowers, the sheer force of nature that makes beautiful waves. I love the challenge of capturing them at their most powerful.
And finally, the latter is of interest because I love aircraft – and just happen to live on the flight path for Edinburgh Airport!
A New Direction for My Photography
In an age of ‘selfies’ I figured people already had that angle covered themselves. Well, excluding me that is – ironically, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than being in front of a camera.
COVID-19 and lockdown brought a change of heart. Not directly linked to COVID-19 of course, but somewhere amidst the chaos I had an epiphany – life is short and you should not dismiss anything when you still have time to try.
Finding a Model
I was thoroughly inspired by her straightforward talk and passion for her craft, not to mention her brilliance. And I thought why not give portrait photography a shot (excuse the pun 😊). Of course, I first had to find someone to photograph…
Option 1: Walk up to someone in the street and ask, ‘do you want to model for me?’ Nope, that sounds a bit creepy lol.
Instead, I posted in the village neighbourhood Facebook page. Surprisingly, I had a great reaction and within an hour had four possible shoots and had to take the post down because I knew I shouldn’t over commit.
I finished my first photo shoot last weekend with a young girl called Andrea (pictured). As luck would have it, she was perfect for my first attempt; so beautiful that even with my limited skill the camera loved her anyway.
The Day of the Shoot
Unless you know what you’re doing I would advise you leave well alone and leave such notions for your practice sessions on the ducks.
Of course, I impart this wisdom because I speak from experience, for that’s exactly what I did the night before my shoot with Andrea. I moved a setting to Spot AF and then on the day forgot about it. I couldn’t understand why the camera’s light meter was all over the place. To add to my trauma, I set the camera to AUTO to see if I could get a rough idea of what settings I could use back in manual – I forgot to switch back!
My First Photo Shoot: Verdict
- Photos over or underexposed
- Some in JPG and not RAW
- Hours of work learning Photoshop – just to give me a chance of saving them
- The hours of work trying to save them
- Don’t use settings you don’t fully understand at an important event
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Learn your settings and lighting inside out
- If something doesn’t seem right during a shoot – take the time to stop and work out what the problem is. Don’t panic and plough on regardless
- You’re never too old to find a new passion and pursue it
Would I Recommend It?
Luckily for me, Andrea also enjoyed the day and has agreed to do another shoot with me. I have two more lined up in the coming weeks, so plenty of practice to help with my journey. Andrea hasn’t seen the photos yet. Will be sending her them this week and I hope she likes them.
iPhotography Tutors Say…
“Thank you so much to Avril for this personal insight to her first photo shoot. If Avril has motivated you to embrace portrait photography then let us know and share your photos in the iPhotography gallery.”
If you would like to share your photography experiences, then why not consider writing a photo guide like Avril? Use our dedicated ‘Write for Us’ page to get started.
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