First "On Location" photoshoot

Well, my first on location photo shoot is over and I managed to get MUCH LESS than I expected of myself. The good news I guess is that I at least got something. Here is one of those somethings…

To start the day off, the garden center owner had apparently forgotten to mention to the workers that we would be there on Sunday (during regular business hours) to do some indoor shooting. Not a big deal there, really. BUT, in addition, a coupon mailer had gone out earlier in the week, and what was normally a pretty slow Sunday was this week a hustling, bustling garden center. That meant I would not be able to set up my Alien Bees and portable strobes like I had planned. At the time of this shoot I was operating with a 6 dollar ambient only antique flash meter purchased from Ebay, so my last minute problems were compounded by the fact that I really had no backup plan.

Caught off guard i decided to just wing it and use 1 remote flash to bounce towards the background, and another flash to bounce off the ceiling to blend with the fluorescent fixtures overhead, making color correction a little easier. We also had plenty of daylight coming thru the front side of the garden center, which is all windows.

I shot my color and grey cards frequently. In fact you’ll see my store manager model holding my grey card in her hands while talking with customers in this photo

And I decided to take an extra approach that would make some of the photos marketable for not only a garden center, but for a farm fresh market type theme, both “with” a model

And “without”

I tried to get a few close up shots in

And a photo to symbolize the Fall season

As well as a few that can be used year round in many, many categories like this one

And then we ended the shoot with money changing hands

MY SUMMARY of the shoot is that I was caught off guard by surprises and changes that i did not plan for, and i let my performance suffer because of it I went out and purchased a Sekonic L-358 light meter afterwards because having it would have helped a ton in this situation. If I’d have had the Sekonic meter at that time i could have metered each shot and had helpers stand (pretending to be a portable flash stand) and hold the remote flash units for me, thus making it easy to keep out of the way of real customers if necessary. Having these surprises kept me from getting the kind of color, contrast and compositions that I had planned for and drawn up in a notebook a couple of weeks before the actual shoot.

I’ll bounce back stronger than ever before on my next shoot. I gladly welcome problems as long as I can learn from them, and also as long as they do not become a regular occurrence. So like Arnold Schwarzenegger says, “I’ll Be Back !!!” Thanks for reading !

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November 07, 2013


Very beautiful photos, Good luck with the sale!

October 26, 2013


Hi Doubleclick7: Since losing my chemistry job in 2008 I started a carpet cleaning business and work as an owner operator. I just emailed the owner of the garden center after finding an article about how she started her business. I offered to trade some carpet cleaning services for the use of her property along with a signed property release and I agreed to provide her with copies of small sizes of the photos (at a web resolution) for her business use. In addition, my insurance agent just purchased a foreclosed bank building and I got her permission to use the place for an upcoming bank photo shoot for free. Well, actually 1 dollar to make it a legal transaction. I offered to compensate her more but I can only assume that because I spend about 4k per year with her as a customer (personal and business insurance, life, disability, etc) she would not accept any pay so I will spend that money on models for the shoot. My dentist is a great friend of mine and he has given...

October 26, 2013


Nice shots! I wonder if you can share with us how you got in the door? I mean, did you call and ask permission, or were you trading some of your images for the property release? What was your approach?

October 19, 2013


Nice work. Good luck with the sale!

October 14, 2013


THANKS Egomezta !!!!!! That means a whole lot coming from someone that has been as successful as you have been ! Thank you very much !

October 14, 2013


Your images look great, I think they will sell well.

October 14, 2013


Thanks for the tip Alvera, during my excitement I realized that a little too late this time !

October 14, 2013


off-topic note: If you see this message at the bottom: "1 readers have found this article useful." please credit me for this :D

October 14, 2013


I'm proud of you! Just one advice: try to shoot a little wider. This way you can crop better at post-processing. Example: blond hair is not all in frame, also the hand is cut from wrist, this is unacceptable as my old photo teacher said, he called me "butcher" hihi :))

October 13, 2013


Congratulations and thank you for sharing! Keep shooting and keep uploading,Mudplucker! Go, go!

October 13, 2013


Thanks for sharing! It's comforting to know that everyone has challenges that pop up unexpectedly!

October 13, 2013


Thanks all ! My next shoot is Monday Oct 4, 2013 (tomorrow afternoon) with the themes "Insurance Adjuster" and " "Professional Working From Home" both tied into 1 shoot..... look for it in about a week or two here on Dreamstime ! and yes, I will be using my meter so hopefully no problems will show up on this one :)

October 13, 2013


Pity natural light wasn't sufficient......... what an effort !

October 13, 2013


You did well in spite of the obstacles. I don't know of many shoots that have gone without a hitch. Nice recovery.

October 13, 2013



October 12, 2013



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Photo credits: Mudplucker.