The past year has been a bit of a big one for me. I’ve gotten to use an incredible selection of gear, meet new people in the industry, and even climb a few mountains (literally) along the way. Most of the changes have been outside my photography, but they also seem to apply to the photo making side of things as well:

10.) Light well

Good lighting will never go out of style, and will never be replaced by endless amounts of Photoshop and post production. Endless tinkering with lights both makes me happy and helps me learn more, as well as accentuating the photo I’m gunning for by creating the desired mood. There’s nothing better in my mind than going in the studio with a void of a backdrop and sculpting something out of it with lights.

9.) Simplify

Sometimes all you need to get the shot is to be there.

I’ve always been a sucker for using a lot of gear, but I’ve fallen into that trap too often. By paring down the amount of gear I use, I usually end up with better results

8.) Use the right gear

While I pride myself on being inventive and using whatever means necessary to get a job done, sometimes the job requires the right tools. Trying to horse an underpowered light into the improper modifier is a headache that’s just solved by using the right gear.

7.) Never get lazy

Hours of shooting and post production later…

Life at Capture Integration is full of long days and nights supporting our customers and providing the best service possible. This means that it’s sometimes easy to get home, kick off the boots, and sink into a Netflix fueled stupor. By pushing myself to either search for more subject matter to shoot, plan my next hike, or even just edit for 15 minutes on some b-roll, I stay fresh. (And THEN I go into the Netflix fueled stupor.)

6.) Talk to everyone

I love shooting motorcycles, and I like talking to people about it. It’s fun! And without doing that, I wouldn’t’ve found out that our next door neighbors in New Hampshire rent out a studio to one of the bike magazines that I’ve been following for a while. Nor would I have found out that a friend had an Aprilia that I could shoot. Or that a friend has a custom chopper he wants to bring in. It’s all about communication…

5.) Relax…

 

Sometimes you really do need to just kick back and do something different. I try to get out and hike some of the White Mountains here in New Hampshire every few weeks just to get out and away from the Internet, monitors, and city living.

4.) …but keep shooting

Just because I’m out away from work or the city doesn’t mean I’m not keeping fresh. Lugging a Cambo Wide RS and a P45+ up and down a few mountains in Maine has yielded some great photos, and the zen of shooting landscape work, different from my normal photography has definitely been refreshing.

3.) Keep an open mind

Sounds simple, and it is, but sometimes you need to consciously remind yourself that you need to keep learning new things. Even though I’ve used Capture One since I was in college at RIT, I still learned a lot just from a fresh perspective from a coworker’s presentation during one of Capture Integration’s Serious Technical Training workshops on Capture One Pro 8. Testing new gear, looking at new specs, or even just trying out something that’s been around for a while (hello, IQ250 wireless networks!) keeps me guessing and keeps the brain fresh.

2.) Working out helps you brainstorm

We can all use some more time outside walking, running, hiking, or just simply being up and away from the keyboard. While I’m no saint for staying in the best shape possible, it definitely helps keep my brain fresh. Not only that, but sometimes you see the weirdest stuff, or have the best idea while out on the trail or treadmill.

1.) Have fun

If it’s not fun, why do it?

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