Friday, November 23, 2012

Higher Expectations Equals Higher Output?

In my last update, I talked about the time constraints placed on me by the twice-a-week evening gig I'm now shooting. But most all of what I wrote focused on my duties and the possible difficulties of achieving my goal of snapping some decent photos in a very limited period of time.

Having shot under these time-intensive conditions a few times now -- the other night I shot 5 models in 28 minutes -- I've realized I'm not the only one who feels the pressure of time and the need to rise to the occasion regardless of how much time is (or isn't) allotted to do so. The models feel it too and, so far and to their credit, they're nailing it regardless of how little time we have to get the job done.

Some say necessity is the mother of invention and the necessity to "get their acts together" and sell themselves in the photos, with little time to do it, has already proven to be a positive thing in the three or so times I've now shot in these time-challenging circumstances.

I'm certainly no stranger to being given too little time -- leastwise, in my mind -- to capture what I hope to capture. Whether I'm given 5 minutes or 5 hours I often feel like I could have done a better job if only I had more time to do it in. But honestly, what would I do with that extra time?  Shoot more images? (Many of them being more of the same.) Keep changing my lighting setups or exposure settings?  Spend more time doing whatever I can to help the model get into her groove?

In this new gig I'm shooting, the models are well aware of the time constraints we're under and, I'm happy to report, suddenly seem able to "nail it" without going through whatever they might usually go through to find that place where it... well, where it all seems to come together for them. I'm not really sure how they're doing it or what they're doing, internally that is, to get it together in such a brief period of time. And I'm certainly not taking personal credit for their sudden ability to do so. But, so far, they're all managing to meet the demands of having very little time to find their groove by getting into that groove in minutes if not seconds. 

I've heard it said that many people only work to about 50% of their abilities or output and, in order to get them to achieve 100% of expectations, they need higher expectations set for them. In that way, if the expectations are twice as high and even if they continue working at 50% of what they're capable of doing or performing, 50% of their abilities suddenly equals 100% of the previous or original expectations. I don't know if that's absolutely true or not -- I'm not a psychologist or labor analyst or anything like that -- but, in my recent experiences shooting this new job, I've learned that it sure seems like it's true.

The pretty girl at the top is Elaine -- click it to enlarge -- one of the 5 models I had in front of my camera for about 5 minutes the other night. She was the least experienced of the 5. Sure, the photo's style (and more) is nothing out of the ordinary for glam pics, but it and the other pics I snapped of Elaine (as well as the other 4 models I shot) met the expectations of the client, in terms of content as well as time to capture them, and that's what mattered most for both the models and myself. MUA was Julia. I used a 46" Photek Softliter for my main and a couple of smaller, Photek knock-offs, either side from behind.

Elaine asked if I could pop off a couple of head shots for her. Here's one I snapped. Pretty face, no?

1 comment:

Bill Giles said...

I don't think that it hurts to have limited shooting time, as long as you know what you are trying to achieve. This happens to landscape photographers a lot when you have to be ready for the right light.