Do you take a peek??? I am serious, I am talking about the little viewfinder on the back of your camera. The little screen, the little magic thingy that allows you to see what you shot seconds after you shot it. Do you stop and look at the picture you shot immediately after you took your first shot? I knew it. Your guilty as charged. Well, STOP IT! Stop with this maddening addiction. You heard me. It IS a serious addiction. An addiction to look at every image just after it is shot. You want to see if you caught it. Then you gloat, you gloat, like a little cat just after it caught its first big, fat juicy mouse.
Okay, I will ease up a bit, and admit that I do it too, SOMETIMES.
Let's get serious now.
There is a lesson to learn here. You are missing the "MONEY SHOT." Your distracting yourself from what is going on in-front of you. If you’re at an event, a wedding, taking family photos; people are interacting all around you and they have some very interesting ways to communicate with each other. They are called "REAL MOMENTS." These real, honest, photographable moments come AFTER a comment, AFTER a silly face pose, AFTER a kiss, AFTER a hug, AFTER a first dance. Are you catching my drift?
So what happens when you silly photographers gloat over what you thought, was your money shot? You miss the "MAJOR MONEY SHOT" because it always comes AFTER you have taken the 1st shot and (while your checking your little, magical screen).
ANTICIPATE the moment. It is possible to do this taking pictures of only one person. As you talk to them, have a conversation that revolves around them, as you shoot, the “real them” will eventually shine through.
It is very natural for people to freeze up and “still themselves” for a very STILL photograph. Because you are shooting still images, does not mean you have to keep people “still.” Sure. Take the still, ultra posed shots. But then spend your time capturing real moments....
This is how you do it.
1st Open your eyes. Yes, open them. Think about it. In baseball when an outfielder is hit a fly ball, does he close his eyes just as he is about to catch the ball? NEVER! They are wide open. Hence the saying…”NEVER, take your eye off the ball.” Well people, the same goes while you snap, snap away. Keep your eyes open as your looking through the view finder. Watch what your subject is doing WHILE you take the shot. You will know if you missed the shot and you need to immediately need to try for something again.
#2 Once again; ANTICIPATE the moment. It is like watching a movie in real time, as you practice you will see emotions build, then you see when people are just about to do something…anything. You WILL see it. Keep your beady eyes open and PEOPLE WATCH. No more turning inward and looking at every shot you took. (I understand you do it sometimes…and that is okay. Be sure to only look on DOWN TIME. THIS IS WHEN YOU CAN TAKE THE RISK. Still, I guarantee, you will still miss something, when you peek. J
#3 Make a moment happen. I do this by telling couples to kiss, families to hug, people to walk toward me, kids to make a funny face...then I wait. I wait for the moment. It is called play.
#4 And for crying out loud, do not freak out over missing a shot. Let it go, and move on to the next moment. Simply find another one, there will be another perfect shot, I promise. There always is.
#5 ONCE AGAIN, don’t turn inward and look at every shot. Start learning how the shot looks, when yo took it because you kept your eyes open. You can do it. This is what photographers had to do in the “olden days” in the "great wide world of film cameras" (oh how I miss them).
#6 Keep shooting. So what, if your not natural at picture taking. The more you shoot, the more you will learn. Eventually, you will perfect your craft of photography. It is okay if you don’t end up as a world famous photographer, at least your children, family and friends will thank you at the end of the day when they VALUE the images most. Then, you will be world famous to them. Isn’t that what matters most? J
PS here are a few technical tips. When shooting people in movement, your images will become slightly soft, if you are not careful. Be sure to make sure you have plenty of light and your shutter speed is at least at 125. If you are in a low light situation...then pop that flash. Pop that flash even outdoors during mid day. It is okay to override your autoflash on your camera and turn it on all the time. Have fun.
Good luck. Here are a few examples of those truthful moments I have taken. GO TO my facebook fan page to see the images: