These are strange times. If I were a landscape photographer, I’d be set. But I prefer to photograph people, which is difficult when everyone is supposed to be staying at home. I saw other portrait photographers doing remote photoshoots over FaceTime/Zoom/whatever, so I asked Kayla if she’d be interested. She’s always up for a challenge, so we gave it a shot.
It went better than I expected, but I learned a few things:
- Clean your screen – If you’re going to be shooting at a tablet or phone, make sure the screen is clean. You’ll notice on the shots I took off the iPad, I failed to clean the screen first.
- Ask your model to clean the front camera on her phone – just a quick wipe off the area over the front camera does wonders.
- If possible, hook your tablet/phone/laptop up to a TV via HDMI – I found that the images I took of the TV screen were far better than the ones I shot of the iPad screen.
- Avoid perfection – If you’re one of those photographers that looks for razor sharp focus, you’re going to have to get used to imperfection. You’re dealing with two different sets of focusing systems–the one on your model’s phone, and the one in your camera. Also, bandwidth…
- Bandwidth is important – Congested internet connections cause blocky images. We tried both wifi and LTE, but out here in rural Montana, bandwidth is an issue.
- Have fun – Seriously–what’s the point if you’re not enjoying the experience? Experiment, look at what other photographers are trying, make up your own shit. These are mostly uncharted waters, so there are no rules.
Much like video conferencing from home, pets like to get in on the action. Kayla’s dog popped in now and then, and my dog heard her dog and started watching the TV. It was an interesting experience, and I hope to to more mini-sessions remotely.