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Your Shot List
Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 8:59 AM on 05.01.11
->> Early in my career I was taught to think through all the types of photos you might need on a photo shoot and write out them. As I would then shoot the assignment I would check them off and even add some.

I have to teach people how to create a list and shoot to it in my role as a consultant with companies.

Here is my latest blog on the topic with some examples from an event I shot.

Do you try and prepare before you go on an assignment and have a list? What is on your list? What other ways can you do to get the story?
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 05.01.11
->> Stan, this is GREAT stuff. I don't know how many times I tell people to contact the client and get a shot list. Go to their website and find out who are the incoming freshmen or transfers. Basically do your homework. I am going to share this story on my Faacebook page. Thanks for sharing..

If you don't mind. Can I add your blog link to my blog? Thanks again...
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 1:12 PM on 05.01.11
->> Stan-
Were you around when Steven Frischling promoted his blog on here all the time?
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 1:53 PM on 05.01.11
->> Stanley...

Good list. My checkoff -- and what I teach my students -- involves three basics: overall, medium and closeup which within them are your sequences, portraits and moments.

In addition to those I have three supplementals. 1) always make sure you have a vertical version of the horizontal shot and then make sure there is muted space at the top which lends itself to being a cover photo. 2) shoot what I call free form where you break the rule of thirds and have your subject along one side of the frame (left/right/top/bottom/lower left/lower right/etc.) with clean dead space filling the rest, thereby giving the layout person or graphic artist play area to use for inserts, headlines, text, etc. Doing so can turn a vertical full page photo into a horizontal double truck with double the money. And 3) panoramic to take advantage of the Internet's capability to scroll or a top/bottom half page double truck in an annual report.

These work when covering editorially. But if you're shooting for a commercial client, then add one important checkoff: make sure the client's name and/or logo is displayed somewhere to add branding. It doesn't have to be blatent; recognizably out of focus works too and may be preferred if incorporated as a subtle graphic element.

As to the subject matter, it is imperative to do your homework and understand the subject so you can recognize what is important when it occurs.

For the 1984 Summer Olympics I was told I would be shooting fencing. So months beforehand I went to a local fencing school to watch and learn the techniques, then shot the national championships in preparation. When I got to Athens things changed and I was assigned to rifle and pistol shooting instead. Thus, I went to the event hours earlier and sought out the judges to find how they viewed the sport. Doing so not only gave me excellent instruction, but by making friends with the judges and marshals through showing interest in their sport and thereby be able to make better pictures, I was given access and considerations during the heats and finals that my competition didn't have -- and it showed in my photos.

For speeches, find out if the person is left or right handed and if he/she is going to hold something up. Knowing what, when and with which hand (90% the domininate one) will put you in the right place at the right time for that key moment.

The more prepared you are ahead of time, the better the pictures, the easier they are to make and the happier the client. And whatever shot list they give you, always add some spectacular ones they hadn't thought of -- such as an angle using a remote camera. That's the easiest guarantee of getting repeat business. And when they can rely on you to think for yourself thereby making their job easier, that's when you can raise your rates and get them.
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Joshua Beckman, Student/Intern, Photographer
Urbana | Illinois | United States | Posted: 10:37 PM on 05.01.11
->> Doug -
My thoughts exactly.

I usually try to get wide, viewing angle, and close shots. From there, I'll attempt to get variations of all three, and if something draws me off in one direction or the other, I still have a full set of images.

Also, I've learned that knowledge always leads to the best shots.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 10:51 PM on 05.01.11
->> I had 7 things to do and here is a post on 7 things not to do
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Jeannette Merten, Photographer
Oshkosh | WI | USA | Posted: 7:10 AM on 05.02.11
->> Thanks Stanley for sharing your thoughts in both write-ups. You obviously have the processes well thought-out, which makes for good advise and a great teacher.
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Jeremy Proffitt, Photographer
Marshall | North Carolina | USA | Posted: 2:58 AM on 05.07.11
->> Thanks for sharing this. A lot of good information in there. I added your blog to my feedly.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 3:11 AM on 05.08.11
->> Very nice job Stanley. Like you, I love going high... or going low for that matter.
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Thread Title: Your Shot List
Thread Started By: Stanley Leary
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