A Cure to Stop Overshooting
Overshooting is common. As our cameras get faster, we overshoot more frequently. For me. I used to overshoot because I had more storage on my memory cards. Sometimes, it’s great to see so many amazing images produced from a shoot. However, if you’re overshooting, you’ll be overworked. If you want to stop overshooting, be intentional in your image creation.
Five Strategies to Stop Overshooting Portraits
Here are my top five tips to stop overshooting your photography .
1. Start with the End-Product
Always start with what you are ultimately producing. If you need 20-images for album, you should do a rough layout for the album design. Likewise, if you’re shooting for a wall cluster, plan your images for the visual story beforehand. Model shoots require the same approach. Decide how many looks you want to create in the time available.
2. Build a mood board for your shoot.
I love mood boards. Mood boards provide a visual guide for styling, looks, and colors. Moreover, mood boards can be loose or as strict as you need them to be. Ultimately, mood boards help stop overshooting by crystallizing your creative direction before you start. Additionally, it helps communicate the vision for everyone involved so that you’re working towards a common goal.
3. Use a shot plan.
The shot plan is a staple production element for film and television productions. Most photographers don’t use a shot list. However, a shot plan is crucial to ending overshooting. Create a shot plan before the shoot. Write down or draw out the look you want to make, the location for the shoot, focal length, what’s the lighting setup. and poses needed for each look. Then compose your shoot based on your plan.
4. Slow down.
Life moves pretty quickly. Yet, if you’re going to stop overshooting, slow down. This is a simple idea. It’s easy to overshoot when you’re just trying to get as many shots as fast as you can. Even if you’re settings and camera focus is perfect, continuous shooting only leads to many identical images. By slowing down, you can be more deliberate in creating diverse looks that are each awesome.
5. Manage Your Shoot Schedule
Now, you need to manage your shoot schedule. Use your planning documents, your team, and your gear to maximize your time. Can you do one or two looks every 15 minutes? Once you have the shot, leave room for serendipitous events. I love structure. However, too much structure can make you miss the magic and chemistry of a fun shoot. Just don’t overthink your shot. Once you have it, move on to the next sequence.
Direct your subject. (BONUS)
This is a hard one. Photographers are technical people. However, don’t let the technology get in the way of human connections. Master your gear so that using it is second nature. Spend your time directing the best possible moment from your subject! The time you spend directing will slow down your shooting while building rapport.
Stop Overshooting Benefits
When you stop overshooting, you will save money. Hard drives costs money. Overshooting fills your hard drive faster than you can imagine. This problem is exacerbated with higher megapixel cameras with large RAW files. Planning a better shoot will help you manage your storage better when you stop overshooting.
Get a hold of your time before, during, and after your creative session. Your preproduction work will sharpen your vision. By having a strong preproduction plan, your creative time will move quickly, elevate your professionalism, and be more fun. Finally, you never want to spend time culling identical images. Following these six strategies will ensure that your production and post-production time is well-spent.
Time and Money are crucial resources. Likewise, your team and their resources are equally crucial. You don’t want to build a reputation for being wasteful. When you stop overshooting and start optimizing your shoots, your turnaround time for production work will shorten. You can get your clients and your team the high-quality results faster. The faster your turnaround, the sooner you can get paid.
Stop Overshooting and Start Optimizing Your Shoots
Professional photographers are business owners. That means you have to effectively manage your time, your money, and your resources to deliver value and be profitable. You lose all three of these critical assets when you overshoot your creative sessions. With practice, you can develop techniques to optimize your creative shoots. Don’t get so structured that miss a magical moment. Conversely, don’t be so unplanned that you lack professionalism. With all things, find your balance so that you can produce work that keeps your clients delighted and your audience engaged.
I’m interested in learning your strategies, tips, and thoughts on overshooting. If you’ve developed a practice to optimize your shoots, let me know in the comments below. I look forward to our conversation.
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