If life has taught us anything, it’s there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. No matter how much you plan, you must understand that life happens. This is especially true on a photo shoot so it’s very important to be flexible as a photographer. Let me explain.

Being flexible can make a difference

When problems arise, you can approach the problems one of two ways. You can be reactive and get frustrated fast because things aren’t going your way. I would not recommend this route. It can cause massive headaches for everyone involved in the shoot.

Your other option is to try being flexible and adapt to the unique problem or situation. Take the negative and turn it into a positive.

Either way, you need to learn that not every shoot will go as planned and that your problem-solving skills are a characteristic of your personality that you need to consider developing.

Don’t stress, and go with the flow

The old saying is “go with the flow” but how do you do this when your shoot is being hijacked by problems? The best advise I can give you is to take a step back and assess each unique issue. Here are a few small examples of making the best of the situation.

1) Problem: Your model is running late and you have time on your hands.

Recommendation: Take the time to scout the location and see what unique angles you can capture before she arrives. This will make you look even more prepared and you can make up for the lost time by having a better idea of what you are about to shoot.

2) Problem: Your camera isn’t working and your team is waiting on you.

Recommendation: While you try to troubleshoot your camera issue, ask your model to practice posing or take behind the scenes video while she waits. Social media is a great place to showcase your shoot, so this is a perfect time for the model to promote your work.

Normal I have a backup camera available to me, but I know not everyone does. Consider renting a backup camera for the day so you can be sure to plan for the unexpected.

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3) Problem: The lighting is not perfect, and you’re having a hard time getting it right.

Recommendation: Communicate with the model that you’re having some lighting issues and you want to move her around a bit. Let them know that even though it is not ideal, you would still like to experiment with the shots.

This way you are setting expectations onsite so when you edit photos, they know there were some issues onsite. Work to get ideas from your models, and even move them around to see how the light falls. Keep your mind open to new ideas, and you are sure to make the best of it.

What are the benefits of being flexible as a photographer

  • Less stress and you feel more proactive.
  • Easier to complete a shoot with positive thinking
  • Grow as a photographer and learn from your experiences
  • Learn to go with the flow, and develop your communication skills
  • Develop your problem-solving skills and think quick on your feet

Problem-solving is the key

Learning to approach a problem or situation with a positive outlook can be easier said than done. It can be very easy to look at a situation and get frustrated because you can’t control everything. When it comes to photo shoots, directing and being in charge usually means you have everything under control.

Even when you feel like nothing is going your way, stay positive and communicate with your team. They are looking to you as a leader so make sure to show confidence and not negativity.

Stay in control of your emotions

I have personally seen photographers get upset on location and the mood instantly changes for everyone around them. As the lead photographer, everyone is looking to you for inspiration and motivation to get the best results possible.

Negative emotions and reactions will absolutely produce negative results. Learning to stay positive will help curve the negative vibes, and will also help others stay on track.

Going beyond the camera

Learning skills on an interpersonal level can go a long way in helping you become a better professional. These skills can help in all industries, especially photography.

Collaboration is key to making the best of any situation and learning to bring out the best in yourself and others can help everyone achieve their goals. Being flexible as a photographer can help you become a better problem solver and a quick thinker!

I hope you enjoyed this session. Consider checking out some other great gear from Sony.

Great Sony Full-Frame Cameras for Portrait Photography:

My Sony A7riii Mirrorless Camera – High resolution Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7rii – High resolution Sony Mirrorless Camera (2nd Generation)
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera
– 3rd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7ii Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – 2nd Generation Sony Mirrorless Camera
The Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera – Great full-frame starter camera for beginners

Sony Full-Frame Lenses for Portraits: (e-mount)

Sony 85mm f1.4 G-Master – Best 85mm portrait lens
Batis 85mm f1.8 – Lightweight 85mm portrait lens
Sony 85mm f1.8 – Smallest 85mm portrait lens
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 – Small, sharp, lightweight portrait lens (my favorite lens)
The Sony 50mm f1.8 – Cheap starter nifty fifty
The Sony Zeiss 35mm f1.4 – Great wide option for portraits and lifestyle images
Sony 24-70 G-Master f2.8 – Sharp and versatile zoom lens
Sony 24-105 G Lens f4.0 – One of the best zooms for Sony
Wide Angle 16-35mm F2.8 – G-Master wide angle lens
The Sony 70-200 G-Master Lens f2.8 – Long range telephoto zoom

Great Sony Starter Cameras for Portraits: (crop-sensor)

Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera – Amazing eye auto-focus detection
Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera – Sony mirrorless camera (2nd generation)
The Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera – Great affordable interchangeable lens camera
Sony a6500 Mirrorless Camera w/IBIS – Amazing photography and video camera

Affordable Crop Sensor Lenses for Portraits: (e-mount)

Sigma 30mm f1.4 – Great for blurry backgrounds
Sony 50mm f1.8 OSS – Made for crop sensors and shallow depth of field
Sigma 16mm f1.4 – Amazing lens for Vloggers and video
Sony 35mm f1.8 – Super walk around lens for travel

Recommended Accessories:

Godox Ving V860IIS Camera Flash – Speedlight Paired w/ X1T-S Wireless Trigger
Meike Grip Sony a7 – Camera extension grip
Meike Grip Sony a7ii – Camera extension grip

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