Posted June 29, 2015 by Casey McCallister
Most people have a daily routine or habits that keep them on task, but I have personally found that creatives tend to over adhere to their habits – often to the point of obsession. Here are some of our top photographers daily habits.
“Every day when I first open my eyes, I unlock my phone and immediately open Instagram. Instagram has become my main source of inspiration in the last year, and I find that scrolling through first thing in the morning helps my mind wake up. Seeing the diverse beauty the world has to offer kick starts my brain into a creative gear which leads to a more productive and creative day”
“The Fortune is in the Follow Up” – This sage piece of advice was communicated to me by a good friend who is successful in his business. Ask your customer if you may follow up, do it when you promise, and in the method your customer prefers (email, phone, etc.).
“Once you have the technicals down, the single most important thing you can do as a photographer is establish a good rapport with the client. Not only does this make the job more fun, but it could also get you repeat business and referrals.”
“Selecting the photographs that best represent your style and are relevant to your audience can drive one to drink. I’m constantly looking at past shoots editing just for me, not for the client. I’ve found the strongest images don’t always make my selection the fist few edits. When I’ve put some time between me and shoot, I see the work a little differently. This usually allows me to find the images that represent me best. Starting the day re-editing old work with my last cup of coffee is a habit I’ve grown to love. I find gems, stir up good memories and get excited about making new work.”
I always ask questions and learn something new. Jobs often come in that require a skill outside my area of expertise, and this puts me in the position of attacking the challenge, developing my skill in that area, and broadening my range as a photographer.
-Always backup your files ASAP. I back up to my PC’s HD and to a remote HD first thing no matter what. Then I go get a beer and relax after a shoot.
-Always have a spare. I always travel with a spare body, flashes, cards, batteries (camera, flash, CamRanger, remote, PocketWizards, etc…), and lenses (not the exact same but something I can use in a pinch if needed).
-Always stow your gear when traveling. If you’re in a car wreck, that DSLR will become a missile and will hurt like a cusser it if hits you in the back of the head. Plus, if stowed properly, it will most likely survive most accidents.
-Always treat the customer the way you would want to be treated – ALWAYS!
My number one habit could be keeping, updating, and reviewing my calendar many times during the day. Thanks to SmartShoot for providing a calendar subscription that automatically populates my iCal calendar. I add a travel time calendar to each shoot that contains important shoot information along with a mileage tracker, project ID, and important phone numbers.
“Something I have learned to do over time is listening to the client up front. Get to know what your client is looking for and what their likes are. This will save you time in post production going back and forth on the final product. It is important to add your touch to the project, but it is the client that has the final say and ultimately pays the bills.”
“One of the things that come to mind is consistency. Establishing a workflow and shooting process that is consistent I feel is key to keeping and staying productive. Everything from the start of your shoot to the QA process and delivery should be as consistent as possible. Staying consistent, establishing repeatable processes will help you become more productive.”
“When shooting architectural spaces (for example, for Apartmentguide.com or Zillow), I try to ensure that I get a shot of the space from each of the four corners. That does two things: one, it shows as much of the space as possible from multiple angles; but it also produces strong diagonal lines through the composition of the shot, which has no equal when it comes to adding visual energy and interest to your images.”
(Cover photo taken by Tom Roeleveld)