Tim Boothby is the Red Zone Photographer

Tim’s Basic Rules for Fan Photo Shoots

Shindig Photo Shoot 2014 - 0353a

Shindig Photo Shoot 2014 – 0353a

Tim’s Rules for Before the Shoot

  • Make sure you have disks and charged batteries.
  • Run your checklist before going to the shoot; insure you have everything you’ll need. Don’t have a checklist? Make one.
  • The camera has a strap, use it! It can’t fall if it’s tied to you.
  • If you’re on time, then you’re late. You’re not a temperamental artist, don’t even try to be one, it’s a move for poseurs.
  • Since you’re there early anyway, look things over, line up angles before you start shooting pix. Locations change, just because you’ve been there once doesn’t mean things didn’t change so check again for new angles and current lighting conditions.
  • You don’t need to be paid to work hard or conduct yourself professionally. Working for pay is actually not the definition of being a professional, it’s how you conduct yourself.
  • Leave anything that pisses you off at home, nobody wants to deal with your whining and pissiness, they are there to have fun. If the party has a pooper then it better not be you.
Fandemonium 2014 - Day 3 - 2294a

Fandemonium 2014

Tim’s Basic Rules for Fan Photo Shoots

  • Every person that steps in front of my camera deserves my full attention and respect. Too many photographers think they are the main event when in fact they are only recorders of the real event, the models, aka those that have given me the privilege to take their picture.
  • You’re shooting digital, not film, single shots are a waste of both your time, and the person staring into your lens and counting on you to do it right.
  • Talk! Let the model know what you’re doing and why. This helps them relax and a relaxed model is a good picture waiting to happen. It also shows you’re doing your part of the job and gives them confidence that the pictures will be good. Too many photographers think explaining their process shows people how they can do it too. Guess what? They already can.
  • If everybody isn’t having fun, somebody is doing something wrong, fix it! Remove distractions; change the music, whatever it takes to keep everybody relaxed and comfortable.
  • Cheese is for mice; so, if you want a real smile say something creative to make them smile. Be original.
  • Yes, you can basically take a picture of anything in a public area and at public events and be on pretty solid legal ground; but, if somebody doesn’t want their picture taken, just climb off the high legal horse and delete the damn thing. Don’t be a paparazzi, they suck and make life harder for the rest of us.
Tomodachi Fest - 2014 - Day 3 - 1691a

Tomodachi Fest 2014

Tim’s Rules for Photo Rooms

  • Get there as soon as you can for setup.
  • If you’re setting up a photo room; remember, it is actually a studio. Studios are cluttered with everything you need to make things work: backdrops, lights, wires, computer and screens, a table and a variety of other necessities, and everything has to be set up properly and cords taped down. These all take space, and the space available to you is generally limited.
  • Keep an eye on how many people are in the room, if it gets too cluttered, thin the crowd, don’t permit people hanging out and watching, except those with the model.
  • If you’re in a photo room make sure the head of the line isn’t out in the hall where you can’t see them.
Tomodachi Fest - 2014 - Day 1 - 0332a

Tomodachi Fest 2014

Mistakes I’ve seen in Others

  • The biggest mistake I’ve seen by far deals with how some photographers deal with the models. Models want to be photographed, they do not want to be ogled, hit on, or drooled over; this applies to spectators, assistants or even by the photographer. A working photographer of my former acquaintance told me he sees every model that walks in the door as a possible conquest, and that disgusts me. People want photographers, not pervs with cameras. Even if the nature of the shoot is daring or provocative. Break this rule and you’ll probably never see the model again, well; at least until you’re defending yourself from sexual harassment charges. Break it while working an event and you probably won’t be invited back, or they may not wait and escort you out and blacklist you.
  • Never touch a model, guide poses with gestures and when possible have an assistant to help with costume problems.
  • Watch what you say, you can compliment a pose, you can compliment a model; but, you can compliment in professional ways that are not overly familiar. Avoid words like hot, gorgeous, and sexy, for example. Goes along with not ogling.
  • Don’t look at everyone that you photograph as a financial resource. I’ve seen and heard from photographers that have alienated friends by constantly pushing their services at them. Don’t be this person. While you’re at it, be up front about what you charge, nothing hidden, lay it all out up front. Sitting fees, hourly fees, print fees, disk fees and all of that other stuff than make me happy to be an amateur.
  • Too many photographers think that if they have a camera and take good pictures they will be able to make money at it. This explains why only 15% of photography businesses survive to their third year. If you’re going to be a business then you’d better know how to operate a business. If you don’t you’ll likely find yourself in the 85%.
  • If you’re a start up you’d better have a main source of income other than photography, I worked for 23 years before I found myself in a position to do what I enjoy now.
  • This is the 21st century, if you’re not using the internet and social media then you’re doomed. You’re not looking much better if you’re not a domain of your own. Gmail, hotmail and yahoo email addresses aren’t really that impressive, and neither is giving out Flickr or Deviant for your portfolio shots. You can use these to guide people back to your own site, but they are part of networking, not what you need to succeed.
  • You don’t need the best equipment to succeed, you just need to know how to get the most out of what you have. That starts with RTFM (read the friggin’ manual.) You’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen people scramble on google for answers that came in the book with the camera.
  • Stay true to what you promise! Deliver on time and on budget and you’ll build a good reputation. I’ve seen too good photographers that destroy their reputation by being unreliable, this includes things like paying what you owe and repaying what you borrow. There’s a place for unreliability and broken promises, its called the 85%.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep or debts you can’t repay.
  • If you screw up, own up!
The Lonely Mountain - 0071a

The Lonely Mountain – 0071a

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