September 12, 2013

How to make the most out of a shoot

Have you ever made plans to go to a particular place for an event or some special occasion that got you all revved up, but on the day of the event, nothing seemed to turn out the way you planned? This post is about one of those times when things didn’t go as planned and how to make the most out it.
Back on June 23rd, we were supposed to have the “Super Moon” event. The Super Moon was when the moon was on its closest rotation to the earth in 2013 and was supposed to be huge. This sounded like a great opportunity for a shoot and a chance to get out with some fellow photographers and have some fun. The night before, I went out on a practice shoot with my friend Avis to shoot some moon test shots. She had just purchased a new camera and as luck would have it, I owned the same camera and was able to help her get familiar with some of the features on her new toy. That evening we drove to a couple places trying to find a good shooting location but the night was overcast and we really couldn’t get any decent shots.

The next evening, the actual night of the Super Moon, some of the people in my camera club suggested taking a road trip and it was a toss-up; we could either head north and shoot the Boston skyline or go south and take some lighthouse photos at Point Judith lighthouse in Narrangansett, RI. One half of the group decided to go into Boston and fortunately for them, the weather and skies stayed clear and they were able to get some decent shots. Personally, I love lighthouses so it was a no-brainer for me and I decided to go with the group heading south to Point Judith light. Unfortunately, about 20 miles into our trip the weather had other plans for us as we watched the clouds and overcast skies roll in. By the time we actually reached the lighthouse, we knew we wouldn’t get any shots of the Super-Moon because of the overcast skies. About half the people we came with decided to just pack it up and leave while the rest of us hung out and explored the area a little. There were already a lot of other photographers there that had the same idea as us and other people fishing and just enjoying the location. If you’ve ever been to Pt.Judith you know that there is a long rock jetty that people like to fish off of and I thought to myself that with the overcast skies we’ll at least get some decent light, sort of like a huge softbox right? 

Now I enjoy shooting people so I grabbed my favorite people lens, a Canon 70-200 ƒ2.8 IS and took a hike out on the jetty with my friend Ewa, a lady who was fairly new to our photo club and who was also a Canon shooter herself. I enjoy taking photos of people taking photos. While she was grabbing shots of this and that, I hung back and took shots of her and then I took a bunch of shots of the locals doing their thing.

A lot of times I’ll see someone I'd like to photograph and I'll give them one of my business cards and ask them if I could take their photo. I always offer to send them a shot or two and most people are cool with that. Sometimes people  will even pose for you which makes it even better. The light was beautiful this day and I was able to get some great people shots. We then walked back towards the parking area and grabbed a few shots along the way. By this time the remaining people in my group were getting ready to leave themselves. Right next to the parking area there is an elevated clearing that gives a nice view of the lighthouse with a nice lawn and some benches and I asked the driver if I could run up there and grab a few shots. When I got up there I saw a couple on a bench and clicked off a few shots and then I saw a young woman (Ann) taking shots of her friend doing aerobics on the grass, so I grabbed some shots of her taking photos. 

I saw an opportunity to take some some shots of Ann taking photos on the grass with the lighthouse and mist in the background. The trick to shooting lighthouses is to try to catch the light aiming at you. I have no problems with lying on the ground or climbing a tree to get a different perspective, so I laid down on the grass and clicked off some shots. They didn’t even notice me, but after a few minutes of shooting, I went over to them and introduced myself and gave them both one of my cards and showed them my shots I had taken of them. They both got excited about my shots and I offered to send them some if they emailed me. I then asked if I could take a few more and they both happily posed for me.

I mentioned to Ann that I might do a blog post on this outing and asked if I could use a photo or two of them. They both agreed and asked me to send them a link when I posted it. I knew I got a few shots that I’d be happy with and headed back to the car smiling.

The moral to this story is, sometimes you just have to make the most of the situation and grab whatever shots you can. You know the old saying; when Mother Nature hands you lemons, make lemonade right? All in all, I got some shots I was happy with that day and had some fun hanging out with my friends and shooting.

Keep this in mind next time you get lemons. Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography