January 25, 2013

If you’ve stumbled across this piece via Google, I’ve written a much more recent article on streamlining your workflow which you can find here 
A while back I did a ‘For Photographers’ post reviewing VSCO Film 01 (or just VSCO film as it was back then) and talking about how it had taken hours off my workflow and had really opened up Lightroom to me. It got some really good feedback about that, so here, finally, is a proper sequence of posts for photographers.
Realistically, those who are just starting out or serious hobbyists will probably find this the most useful, but I guess it’s always handy to peek into the ways of working of someone else.
let’s start with the most important first. I try and get as much as I can right in camera, exposing for shadow and I have almost always shot manually after I found Aperture priority on my first DSLR wasn’t getting me the look I wanted.
I only like to work with what I can carry, especially as I get to most weddings on the train.
I work with Nikon and my camera is a D700 and I carry a back up with me to each and every event I shoot.

Polaroid 1

I love to work with fast primes and have the 35mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.4 (Canon offer a 1.2 for both of these which is the spec equivalent and same price bracket as the 35mm 1.4 – I don’t know why Nikon don’t do it but heyho) but there’s times in which having a fast zoom is necessary – there’s been so many times when I’ve been stuck in one spot during a ceremony and want a range of frames. My weapon of choice is the 24-70 2.8. It’s fantastic for a primary shooter, but when I have assisted others I’ve often wished I had the 70-200 as it’s a bit too wide for shooting from the back of a ceremony.
I believe in keeping it simple – the more time you spend playing with things the less time you spend looking at the world around you and waiting for the perfect moment to capture.
My wishlist includes the 85mm 1.4 and I’m toying with the idea of investing in the above mentioned 70-200 2.8 but I do think I’d only use it in big venues, and I do like a nice wide frame.
It’s worth mentioning a little about film at this point too. I absolutely adore shooting with film, love that soft pretty look and could go on and on about how much I adore the work of the likes of Feather and Stone, Elizabeth Messina etc but for me, right now, digital is my work horse. Chiefly because of cost – if I was to shoot most of my work on film I’d have to charge around 50% more to cover the cost of buying the film and the post processing but it is something I’d like to seriously consider in the future.

Polaroid 3

When I do shoot film I use a medium format Pentax and my film of choice is Kodak Portra. I also have a number of toy cameras that I bring out at will.
Next time  – my digital workflow