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Learning to be flexible as a photographer

If life has taught us anything, it’s there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. No matter how much you plan, you must understand that life happens. This is especially true on a photo shoot so it’s very important to be flexible as a photographer. Let me explain.

Being flexible as a photographer

When problems arise, you can approach the problems one of two ways. You can be reactive and get frustrated fast because things aren’t going your way. I would not recommend this route. It can cause massive headaches for everyone involved in the shoot.

Your other option is to try being flexible and adapt to the unique problem or situation. Take the negative and turn it into a positive.

Either way, you need to learn that not every shoot will go as planned and that your problem-solving skills are a characteristic of your personality that you need to consider developing.

Don’t stress, and go with the flow

The old saying is “go with the flow” but how do you do this when your shoot is being hijacked by problems? The best advise I can give you is to take a step back and assess each unique issue. Here are a few small examples of making the best of the situation.

1) Problem: Your model is running late and you have time on your hands.

Recommendation: Take the time to scout the location and see what unique angles you can capture before she arrives. This will make you look even more prepared and you can make up for the lost time by having a better idea of what you are about to shoot.

2) Problem: Your camera isn’t working and your team is waiting on you.

Recommendation: While you try to troubleshoot your camera issue, ask your model to practice posing or take behind the scenes video while she waits. Social media is a great place to showcase your shoot, so this is a perfect time for the model to promote your work.

Normally I have a backup camera available to me, but I know not everyone does. Consider renting a backup camera for the day so you can be sure to plan for the unexpected.

3) Problem: The lighting is not perfect, and you’re having a hard time getting it right.

Recommendation: Communicate with the model that you’re having some lighting issues and you want to move her around a bit. Let them know that even though it is not ideal, you would still like to experiment with the shots.

This way you are setting expectations onsite so when you edit photos, they know there were some issues onsite. Work to get ideas from your models, and even move them around to see how the light falls. Keep your mind open to new ideas, and you are sure to make the best of it.

What are the benefits of being flexible as a photographer

  • Less stress and you feel more proactive.
  • Easier to complete a shoot with positive thinking
  • Grow as a photographer and learn from your experiences
  • Learn to go with the flow, and develop your communication skills
  • Develop your problem-solving skills and think quick on your feet
  • Problem-solving is the key

Learning to approach a problem or situation with a positive outlook can be easier said than done. It can be very easy to look at a situation and get frustrated because you can’t control everything. When it comes to photo shoots, directing and being in charge usually means you have everything under control.

Even when you feel like nothing is going your way, stay positive and communicate with your team. They are looking to you as a leader so make sure to show confidence and not negativity.

Stay in control of your emotions

I have personally seen photographers get upset on location and the mood instantly changes for everyone around them. As the lead photographer, everyone is looking to you for inspiration and motivation to get the best results possible.

Negative emotions and reactions will absolutely produce negative results. Learning to stay positive will help curve the negative vibes, and will also help others stay on track.

Going beyond the camera

Learning skills on an interpersonal level can go a long way in helping you become a better professional. These skills can help in all industries, especially photography.

Collaboration is key to making the best of any situation and learning to bring out the best in yourself and others can help everyone achieve their goals. Being flexible as a photographer can help you become a better problem solver and a quick thinker!


Jason Dallas Portraits Model Test ShootsJason The Creative – Dallas Portrait Photographer

Photography just decided to grow on me and I never looked back. I am a portrait photographer growing and specializing in model test shoots. Every one starts somewhere and this is my story. Instagram.com/jasonthecreative


What’s in my camera bag

My Portrait Photography Gear for Model Test Shoots

Sony a7riii Mirrorless Camera
High Resolution Studio Camera
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera
Great Photo & Video Camera
Sony 85mm f1.4 GMaster
Best Portrait Lens
Sony 35mm F1.8
Great wide lens for lifestyle shoots
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8
First lens I purchased – Amazing and light
Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GMaster
Best all-in-one Portrait Zoom Lens
Sony 24-105 f4.0 G Lens
Best all around walk-around lens

Secondary Portrait Photography Camera and Lens

Sony a6400 Mirrorless Camera (crop-sensor)
Small & amazing quality
Sony 16-55mm f2.8 G Lens
Super sharp and versatile

Sony Mirrorless Bodies You Should See

Sony a7rii
High Quality Studio Camera
Sony a7ii
Great General Purpose Camera
Sony a7sii
High Quality Video Camera
Sony a6600
Photo and Video Camera
Sony a6500
Crop Sensor Video Camera
Sony a6300
Amazing Budget Starter Camera

Full-Frame Lenses You Should Check Out

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 70-200 F2.8 Lens
Amazing Quality Zoom Lens
Sony 16-35mm f2.8 Lens
Superb wide-angle Lens
Sony 85mm F1.8 Lens
Great Budget Portrait Lens
Sony 24mm F1.4 Lens
Sharp Wide Prime Lens

Crop-Sensor Lenses You Just Might Need

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 18-105 F4.0 Lens
Awesome Video Lens
Sigma 16mm F1.4
Great YouTube Lens
Sigma 30mm F1.4
Sharp & Light Weight Lens
Sigma 56mm F1.4
Go-To Portrait Lens

My Current Off Camera Studio Flash Lighting / Location Kits

Profoto Air Remote TTL-S
Remote Trigger
Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit
Portable light strobes
Profoto OCF 2×3 Softbox
Portable soft light modifier
Profoto OCF Softbox 2ft Octa
Small direct soft box
Profoto 41in Deep Medium Umbrella
Main studio modifier
Profoto OCF Speedring
Modifier connector


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