As I begin these periodic musings it reminds me of the first time for many assignments.     What is this project?    What do they need?   How do I ask the right questions to get the info I need to give them the images the client needs?

Volunteers in Action Henderson ProductionsWe can all resort to fill-in-the-blank forms found virtually anywhere.    But the value of experience is cutting through the chafe and getting to the nut.

Location and assignment photographers are often offered a “cleaned up” space like a conference room or office with floor to ceiling windows overlooking an interstate highway spaghetti junction.    “Will this work?”    Well….it’s not optimal.

I’ll usually try to establish a site visit for corporate and event assignments.    As an event planner for decades, I also try to determine the workflow before any event.   As the servers all coming from one location?    I need to stay out of their way.   Are they dressed specially – say in dirndls for Oktoberfest?  Will the tables and food service be preset?

Trolley Shuttle at Expo HD Henderson ProductionsMore importantly, what is the client planning to do with the images?   Is this a capture-sponsor-interaction as a thank you gift?     Are you going to try to solicit volunteers and clients and sponsors next year?    Are you looking to blow up these images for the corporate headquarters walls?    It’ll make a difference.

I’m often thanked for capturing the images the client didn’t know they needed.    That’s where experience comes in.   While planning an event I have surely gone looking for an image of the transportation system or a volunteer recruitment pic (are they having fun?).    It’s ingrained in my event photography process to capture these behind-the-scenes images.

In coming editions, we’ll talk more about some of these concepts.