Shooting Commercially off the Beaten Track. 19 April   

The presentation was given on Zoom by James McCormick who is one of the professional photographers from Mc2 Photography. James explained the pressure of being on an assignment as a commercial photographer as he is obliged to aquire the images the client has requested.
James first learned his photographic skills using film which gave him a good grounding in camera settings. He now uses a mirrorless camera system but always shoots manually. He always had an ambition to be a journalist and now takes on challenging photographic projects following the clients brief. For this presentation James took us through the planning and thoughts about his commission to photograph the production of coffee in Ethiopia.
Although most club members will probably not be paid to shoot such a sequence of photographs, the planning and preparation is similar to setting out to photograph a local event or some local scenery. James plans in advance the photographs his client needs. He knows his camera settings for all situations so well that he can just get on with getting the images. Lighting can vary enormously but he can quickly change exposure settings when required. He says ‘think simple’ and takes just a small bag with his camera and a few lenses, cards and spare batteries on a photographic assignment. His camera uses two memory cards which he backs up as soon as he can.
Before he presses the shutter he looks objectively at the image in the viewfinder. He thinks ‘why am I taking this image – does it convey the emotion I need?’ Every image must be part of the story he needs to convey. After getting an initial image or two ‘in the can’ then he can get more creative and try out different depths or field or different angles.
James showed how he looks out for interesting characters that make good commercial images and showed some delightful Ethiopian ladies as they went about their work harvesting and drying the coffee beans. Everyone from the ‘big boss’ to the local schoolchildren became part of the story he needed to record.
James was thanked for taking us his interesting journey and giving an insight into the world of commercial imagery.PM
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