Thirty-seven years, nearly thirty-eight, actually.
Thirty-seven years as a professional, that’s a paid professional photographer.
There I was, Saturday morning, 16 years old, watching Tizwas and the telephone rings. It’s a strange man, an old man, the local town photographer, ‘do you wanna be a photographer?’ He asked.
’Yeah ok.’ I replied thoughtlessly in a two tone pubescent voice.
Monday morning, I was a photographer.
Now things were different in the photography world back then, there was film, not digital, film. Kodak Vericolor II was the film of choice, 120 format, my first professional camera, the wonderful Rolleiflex 2.8f (I have an image of one tattooed on my left arm as a reminder of my first love)
Wedding photography was very formal, I learnt how to build groups efficiently and to get everything done in no more than twenty minutes. How many new photographers can say that these days? We also covered an entire wedding day with three rolls of film, 36 shots so you had to be precise.
Then there was the proofing.
We’d rush back to base, process the films, print them quickly (making quick proofs hence the term proofing), then go back to the wedding a flog them, or not really depending on how drunk people were on your return.
Wind on thirty-seven years and digital photography has changed wedding coverage dramatically.
Out goes the formal methodology, in comes a more reportage approach. But this change? Why, I said to myself, can’t we still turn things around quickly like we once did?
Afterall, isn’t the whole ideas of digital photography the speed of access?
If that’s the case, why does it take a month or two for some photographers to make their photos available?
I have always taken the approach than we should embrace the speed that digital offers us, again, do clients not expect a fast turnaround? Sure they do.
So why not give it to them?
The above image was taken for PR purposes at a local museum. It was delivered back to the client the following morning. Why? Because I can, and I feel, I should.
Back to weddings, after taking 1000 images, I get back to base at maybe midnight, then work another two or three hours to get them uploaded overnight ready for the couple and their family to view them the following morning over breakfast.
Pretty unique I reckon.
But here’s the issue.
I have a laptop, I have a card reader, I have a backup hard disc. All great, all gives me a headstart but it’s still a little slow. I reckoned I could speed the process up and get close to instant access for the best images.
So this is what I’m working on, a new workflow which would make use of the speed of digital.
With the introduction of Adobe Lightroom, we photographers began to be able to handle a whole batch of images rather than one at a time using Photoshop, it has been a revelation. But now, Adobe have made it mobile. A cut down version for iPad which syncs back to your desktop master images.
And boy does that work?
With a iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and a network, I can work in a field or a coffee shop or in the car on my images.
I can fill in the odd ten minutes I have, or work offline on the tube.
And that, my friends, will lead to even shorter shoot to image delivery times, which will lead to happier customers and hopefully, more work.
So embrace mobile computing in your photography workflow or be like the others and wind the world back thirty-seven years.