Nailing it in camera. Scientific term? Hardly. But it definitely hits the nail on the head (har har…pun intended!). Nailing your photograph in camera is what you should be aiming to achieve. Sure, shooting with knowing you want to do a certain post processing is fun, but post processing won’t work if you don’t have a decent photograph to work from. Imagine this, you purchase a canvas. It’s already all smudged and marked up. You go to try to paint. The paint might cover it up, but it’s going to take more work, time, and not look as good. Now, if you purchase a pretty clean canvas, then you are free to tweak as you see fit.
So what does nailing it in camera mean?
Producing a photograph that requires little to no post processing. This would qualify as a photograph that I could present to a client if I had to and I’d be proud to stand behind it.
Okay I got that..soooo…..why is nailing it in camera so important anyways? Here are just five quick reasons to push for that proper in camera shot:
- More efficient processing. Proper exposure = Less post processing = More efficiency. Efficiency is key when running a business.
- Quicker turn around time. Less time processing = Happier clients when the product is delivered quicker!
- Integral quality of photograph maintained. With every stroke of post processing the quality of photograph is touched, the least amount of post processing the better.
- Produces a consistent product. By nailing proper exposure and technique in camera, you are more likely to produce a consistent product. Consistency in technique is key to driving forward a professional business.
- Be a photographer not a photoshopper. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to spend my time and energy getting it right in the camera and pulling it into the computer. Getting the heart racing. Hands shaking. Realizing you NAILED IT. Knowing that you aren’t dependent on Photoshop, Lightroom, Gimp, whatever. YOU produced it. You and your trusty camera. In portraiture, processing programs are meant for enhancement, not to create.
I’m not perfect. I don’t nail it every time. I’m also not anti-post processing either. This is one of those things that I wish had been impressed up on me when starting out. To shoot as though I don’t have photoshop as a crutch to fix my mistakes. It’s so common sense but really made a lightbulb go off in my head.
The goal is to nail it in camera. Tweak, not edit. Process, not fix. If you’re not producing consistent products, sit down and look at photographs. What is off? White balance? Over/under exposed? As you grow as a photographer and work to achieve “nailing it in camera”, you’ll find your work becoming more consistent, more efficient, and happier photog & clients!