Inspiration: Be cool, be prepared, be professional. Be like SRV.
My favorite clip of Stevie Ray Vaughan in action. A guitar string breaks … and he fluidly swaps out guitars mid-performance. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t even know.
From that I take my inspiration as a photographer. I am prepared. I am over-prepared. My back-ups have back-ups. I try and anticipate any possible worst-case situations.
And should something go wrong, there isn’t even a ripple on the surface.
A few months ago, I accidentally kicked the tethering cable during a corporate headshot photo session. My Nikon D810 and 70-200mm f/2.8 fell off the table, hit the floor hard, and the lens broke off in the lens mount.
I simply picked up the pieces and put them away, and got my other camera with the 100mm f/2.8 lens to continue. (I use the smaller, lighter lens as my backup lens for headshots.)
My client mentioned afterwards that I didn’t even react. And that’s how it should be.
Where am I headed with this, you may well ask? Back-ups! Redundancy! Slick professionalism!
Along this line of thought: I shoot with my cameras using both memory cards: RAW + RAW. Not RAW + JPG. If something should go wrong, I don’t want to add to my misery by now having to edit JPGs from scratch. RAW + RAW. I also shoot with two memory cards that have huge capacity, in each camera. I don’t want to swap out memory cards during a shoot – that’s just asking for cards to get lost. The cards stay in the camera!
And you may well say that you shoot portraits / corporate work / headshots / commercial work …. you know, stuff that would appear to not be as sensitive to critical failure like a wedding would be. Losing a memory card on a wedding would be … maaaaan, I can see you could easily damage your business permanently, depending on how it plays out.
Okay, so you shoot portraits / corporate work / headshots / commercial work … I can guarantee you that if you went back to your client with an “oops, my memory card failed”, you are very likely to lose them as a client. Maybe, maybe they might shrug it off and reschedule, but that is a heavy calculated risk. And an unnecessary one. Shoot RAW + RAW. Even if you shoot tethered.
Moral of the story? Be like Stevie Ray Vaughan. Be cool, be prepared, be professional, and just motor along like nothing went wrong.
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8 Comments, Add Your Own
is this a dig at the single card slot option on the new Nikon Z series……
1.1Neil vN says
I thought I was being subtle.
But the guitarist had a second guitar and not double strings on one guitar ;-)
Stevie DID have, however, damn near double the gauge strings and tuned down 1/2 step!! LOL . . . also he played the tune up on the register (higher up the neck) so as not to interrupt the flow of the mojo . . . ;~)
RIP Flower-Power 70-200 :( Seen that lens in a lot of your videos. Can’t have too many warnings about redundancy. Nobody thinks it will happen to them simply because it hasn’t YET.
Re: the Nikon Z, I think Nikon made a mistake not warning people ahead of time that the Z6 & 7 are basically “enthusiast/hobbyist” cameras before launch–which is what they are. Only now, after the negative flap, is Nikon saying, “Wait! We’ll have pro versions coming in the future!”
Couldn’t agree more! I had a CF card die on me days before a wedding. Decided to not use my backup 5D ii (with single CF slot) but rather rent a 5D iv (CF+SD) for the day and use my 5D iii (also CF+SD) as backup. I wouldn’t have any missing photos on my conscience…
4Frank Wolff says
Do you have any workshops or videos about setting up lights at reception halls. I’m especially concerned about the giant dark spaces from barn like venues.
4.1Neil vN says
I don’t have any videos that deal specifically with large or difficult reception halls that would need two or more additional off-camera flashes. There’s definitely a need for this – so I will add it to my list of potential projects.