Pro to Amateur

As I write this the world is currently still trying to control COVID-19

No. We aren’t purely in a post-pandemic world (in a literal sense) however things have opened up similar to what it was like before March 2020.

Approximately two years before the deadly virus took a grip of our planet, I was already experiencing a feeling that maybe it was time to do something different.

I was tired. I didn’t feel challenged. I felt that the cycle of booking a slate of clients and grinding my way to honour those photo/video contracts was exactly that: a grind.

True, I did enjoy the people and moments I was capturing, but was this my true potential?

I remember getting my first job inquiry in 2019 and inmediately feeling ill. Without much thought I impulsively declined.

This was the defining moment that ushered in a new era of my life.

Was I doing what I REALLY wanted to do? I felt like I could do more. The future was dim, but I knew it was entirely mine to sculpt.

Then a year later: COVID-19

The Coronavirus made my departure from a nearly two decade long “way of doing things” easier. Now I feel like these changes are for good.

Nearly three years after lockdowns, I ask myself: What stayed? What did I walk away with, after a professional career in photo/video? The answer? My passion for digital media production.

I can safely say this is a part of me.

I may have gone from an amatuer to professional to an amatuer again, but without a doubt my love for production digital media stands as true as ever.

During these down years, I have explored the new realms of 360 Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality production/editing.

I have also been able to take some of the old – digital photography and video and apply the “new” integrating it into Blockchains and Digital Wallets as NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens)

With the years taken from us by COVID-19, it was able to come back as time spent recharging and rejuvenating my passion for my art. This, combined with the freedom to devote my efforts towards the ventures I am enthusiastic about will truly change my “way of doing things” from here on out.

Location Scouting

Whether you are photographing people, cars, or the scenery itself, finding the perfect place for your shoot is without a doubt of the most important considerations that will ultimately affect the final results.

For some people, it may be difficult to spare the time to head out on a mission to find great places to shoot, however there are a few things that you can do to make this task a little easier whenever you’re ready to pack your camera and hit the road.

There are usually two scenarios:

1) A location is provided for you

2) You have to find a location yourself

In the first case, where a location is provided, depending on the size of the area, I will take as much time necessary to do a walk through.

During the walk through, I try to figure out a convenient and productive path that I will take (usually with people, or a photo crew).

I make notes of all the spots I think we can stop at, and in the end, I will chart out the easiest and simplest course with considerations to any time limits.

In other words, I will try to make a course that will be easy to walk through, will keep everyone from getting bored or tired, and if the shoot is scheduled to be 90mins, I won’t go to a spot that takes 40mins to get to or else it will take away from all the other shots we could get.

I will usually scout with my cell phone, taking snapshots of every notable area, and at the end review what I have and decide what to do from there.

In the event where you have to find a spot, a good start is to first think of the photo/video shoot.

What is the theme of the shoot?

What wardrobe/clothing/accessories are available?

Does the time of day/sunlight matter?

These are just a few questions you may ask yourself, and you may or may not have an answer.

Regardless, with any details you have pre-determined you can then select your location to complement every other element in the shoot.

One thing I personally do is I will take cell phone photos of places I naturally go to in my daily travels.

I take photos of places I think will be great shoot locations, and simply keep a folder with these images in it renamed to the major intersection that it’s closest to so I can easily remember where it is.

Whenever the opportunity arrives and I have to provide a location. I access my folder and see if there is anything in there that can help.

Location scouting can also sometimes be an urgent matter, and you have to come up with a place ASAP, or even in a city or town that you have never been to. What then?

For this I take on technology and use Google Maps and Streetview to help find areas that could potentially host a photo shoot then the day of take a walk through 1 hour before the actual photo shoot begins.

Location scouting can be a major contributor to great digital imaging. Find the right place and your work will come to life!