Thank you Derrel


TPF Noob!
Aug 19, 2008
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Athens, Ohio
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Well I have been meaning to write a thank you to a special forum member for quite some time now. Many of you know him and I have had the pleasure of having him mentoring me through TPF mentor system for about a year now. I just wanted to repay him in some little way for all the help that he has given given to all the newbs here, including myself.

Last month I went to him asking:"how can I get more shots from a photo session." I wanted to start doing some serious portrait work, but I would only get 10-15 shots that I liked from a 2 hour on location shoot. Well his response was more like a book than a PM, and I do have it printed out and in my camera bag. Here is a small excerpt of what he wrote:

"...One thing too--when shooting a senior set like this, move to locations and shoot with an idea in mind....if the location doesn;t work, figured out WHY, then take action to correct that (fill/bounce/scrim,longer lens) or MOVE....when you get to a situation where things work, shoot the crap out of it for 15 mins...really work it...start at 80mm and work in and out to 200mm...make sure you exhaust the scene, and do it FAST. Shoot more frames, like 500, in two hours...even 700.. a D2h can bang 'em out....if the model is any good, shoot the crap out of it...if she's weak, shoot the crap out of it, and TELL HER "we are going to shoot-shoot-shoot until you relax and are perfectly comfortable"...."

Now I get 30 images in a 2 hour session and it really helps when getting a client to say that you can get that many. Even in a short studio session (25min.) I was able to get 15 images that the client bought!

So at the end of the message Derrel asked me to post some pictures up with this post but I think I will wait for that because I have a good bulk of sessions coming up (including a model mayhem shoot) and I will make that a post with a few pictures from each shoot. So thank you again, and its great to have you on this form!
Thanks for the post of appreciation James. Your photography skills are improving at a rapid pace, and I think you're really on a great trajectory. Who knows how far you'll end up going! I'm glad some of my tips have helped you. I used to make my entire living from shooting portraits, some 20 years ago. Today, with digital "proofing" available right on the back of the camera within two seconds, not two days, it's really a great advantage to be able to literally see how portrait sessions are going, as they progress! Thanks again for the nice post.

I look forward to seeing how your photography has been going for the last month or two. It has been four or five weeks since I have checked in on your on-line portfolio. I hope the last part of your summer was great, and that you get a lot of classmates to book some sessions with you. All the best to you!

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