Why Photographers Shoot Way More Than They Need

Click. Click. Click click click click…ENOUGH ALREADY!

Surely my wife isn’t the only one who has wondered, “Why do you need so many shots?!” Granted, I’m usually shooting moss or a leaf or something like that. But what about portrait photography? Have you ever wondered why a photographer will shoot, shoot, shoot the same thing multiple times? Here’s one reason they might.

Some friends asked if I could help with family portraits. I was thrilled to have the opportunity! I love taking photos of my family, and I’ve been able to use those skills to help more and more clients in recent days. We met at a beautiful old barn on their family land. Here is one of the shots I captured of the mother and daughter:


A couple of days after the shoot, I culled everything and prepared some edited images for the client to review. They were thrilled with the images! However, a few days after I sent the link, she asked, “Do you have a tall version of these images?” She had purchased a frame that was designed to contain portrait-oriented tall 5×7 prints. Many of the shots I had done were wide since they are a family of five.

I didn’t have a tall-oriented shot of this exact pose in-camera, but I did have several images of this shot with multiple variations. I had to composite three different images together to get the desired result:


Here’s a look at the three images that were used. The image in the middle of the stack on the left is the main image they liked, and I used the other two images to extend the top and bottom of that image:

Composite of Three Images

So there you have it. Photographers aren’t completely crazy! There are many reasons photographers may want to take multiple images of the same pose. But one reason is that having multiple images of a similar pose enables editing after the fact that is otherwise difficult or impossible.

Rey Star Wars™ Fan Photo Dress-Up

My daughter dressed up as Rey from Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens for a Halloween event. We have boys in our household too, so we of course have a few lightsabers around the house. When these things come together like so, one just can’t NOT do a photo shoot, right? I did a little post work, and voila, my daughter looks like she walked off the set of Star Wars 8. Here’s the result. Enjoy!


Background image credit: Unsplash.com

A Quick Lesson on Shutter and Aperture Priority

Since the advent of digital photography, I’ve become more or less addicted to photography. It’s a compulsive thing, but most of the time it’s fairly constructive. I’ve learned a lot over the last 10 years and 70,000+ photos (most of them are bad…). There are tons of helpful infographics and cheat sheets on the web. Here’s one from Lifehacker. But I had to share a quick series of images I caught tonight. It’s not as thorough as the other guides or cheat sheets, but it does illustrate some pretty marked differences at the extremes of shutter priority and aperture priority. Plus, my kid just made me laugh. Enjoy!


Our Analog/Digital World

I saw this sign and had to chuckle:

There is more than a little goofiness to the over-use of QR codes. But a QR code — even a regular ole’ URL — would have been quite helpful in this context.

Never forget that calls to action need to be easy to follow!

A Glimpse of the Abbeville Spring Festival

Ride Night at the Abbeville Spring Festival © 2012 Andy JohnstonWe were at the Abbeville Spring Festival this evening. I had my Fuji S-9100 on hand and decided to try and capture some of the fun. I have been sort of chained to my desk for the majority of this week working on a couple of urgent projects for clients. This image is a good reminder to me that it is worth it to unplug from the work.

FYI, this image is unedited. It was sort of a “lucky shot” in low light without a tripod.


Andy Johnston