First off, apologies, I know I haven’t blogged in ages but I do have a decent excuse for that and I hope you’ll let me off; I’ve actually been mega busy.
Loads of shooting has been done and loads more editing has also been done. Things probably would have been done a lot quicker if I didn’t have such a short attention span and didn’t get distracted so easily (also why it’s taken me a whole lot longer than it should have done to write this blog post) but that’s just one of those things.
So while I’ve been so very busy I’ve learnt a few new tricks that I’m willing to share with you all, so here goes;
1 – If a promoter messages you and asks if you want to shoot a bingo night, even if you think they’re mental for wanting a photographer to cover a bingo night, say yes. It might just be a Bongo’s Bingo night and in that case you’re in for a serious treat. Mental.
2 – Free wifi is shit. You probably already knew that though so let’s just move on.
3 – Be nice, always. Even if you have to grit your teeth and be as fake as a £9 note, it’ll still take you further than being a cock. Not one to name and shame or anything like that but in the last couple weeks I shot a night where only one act went and personally thanked the light and sound engineers while all the others were off playing up their rockstar fantasies. Can guarantee you they’ll go a lot further than the rest, good on them.
4 – A camera body with built in wifi is an absolute game changer. Some of you may already know this too, but when you’re starting out trying to make strides in the industry (as I am), being able to shoot the first three songs of a set and then having the ability to have one of those shots edited on your phone and whacked up on Twitter/Instagram (with a makeshift watermark on, do not forget that bit) while said band are still on stage, makes a whole hell of a lot of difference. To me anyway, everyone has their own way of working.
5 – Organise your gear down to the finest detail. I have a bit of a reputation for “winging” things aka, I improvise a lot. Actually, probably more than a lot, but again that’s how I like to work. I like to let things flow rather than be completely regimented, that is with everything apart from my bag. My bag is so ridiculously organised you could mistake it for a North Korean PR stunt. I met a photographer a couple weeks back who, when switching memory cards, spent what felt like forever rummaging around their bag trying to find what they wanted. Once they’d found their card holder they couldn’t remember which cards were already full and which were ready to be shot with again. While I was witnessing all of this they missed what could have been some glorious photo opportunities. Find a system that works for you but, always be sure you know what bits of your gear are ready to go to work and which aren’t, makes shooting life a lot simpler.
6 – My usual cinema now has leather reclining seats. I was over the moon to learn that. It’s amazing.
7 – Don’t ever be afraid to charge what you think your product is worth. Honestly, took me far too long to learn that one, but now I have I’ll be a millionaire in no time (one can obviously still live in hope).
8 – Stay on top of your working relationships. Just because you’re working with or for someone, doesn’t mean you have to be their bestest friend for the rest of your days, but it does mean you’re going to have to be able to get on well enough, and in a professional enough manner, to be able to produce a quality product together. Believe me, in past jobs I’ve worked with some people who I was amazed made it through natural selection but you’re not going to have to spend the rest of your life with them. Work with them the best you can, get something out of it you can be proud of and walk away again without blurting out what’s really going through your head.
9 – Network. Network like your life depended on it, because it does. I’ve lost count of how many jobs I’ve picked up because I introduced myself to the right person, how many times things have been made a lot easier because I asked the right question or how many times I’ve been offered a job I couldn’t do but passed it onto someone else I knew who could, only for them to return the favour later on down the line. It’s bloody great.
10 – I have nothing left I just thought it’d be really awkward leaving a list on 9 things. Wanted to finish on a nice round number.
11 – Always have fun with whatever it is you’re shooting. If someone sees you having fun while “working” they’ll want to join in with you. Can make things a lot easier and obviously more enjoyable too.
12 – Probably should’ve stopped at 10.
Anyway, I hope some of them help you out in some way or another. I’m off to do some more editing again now. Hopefully post again soon.