Footwear is an oft-overlooked aspect of preparing for a shoot. Every situation calls for variation in what’s on your feet. In some cases, it can even be dangerous for a photographer to wear the wrong shoes.
Practicality, venues, and dress codes require photographers to wear different types of footwear. Your shoes need to be:
- And suited to the environment you’re shooting
Let’s talk about how to decide what shoes photographers should wear.
Shoes to Shoot a Wedding
Weddings are long affairs. As a photographer, you’re on your feet for the better part of a wedding. You need to constantly move and shuffle to capture the perfect shots on a couple’s perfect day. And even though you’re attending a wedding, you’re not a wedding guest.
When shooting a wedding, you need to look professional as much as you need to be comfortable. You also need to blend into the background, so choose a shoe that’s dark — black, if possible.
Shoes worn to a wedding should be comfortable and durable. You may have to climb on an outcropping of rocks or step in a puddle to take the perfect outdoor wedding shot. When indoors, you want a pair of shoes with a solid grip so you don’t slip and cause a fiasco on the dance floor.
Footwear for Real Estate Photography
Shooting real estate isn’t as formal as a wedding, but you’ll still be on your feet for much of the shoot. You’re also likely to walk on a variety of surfaces, from tile floors and carpet to grass and dirt outdoors.
A comfortable pair of sneakers works wonders for helping you stay on your feet over the course of a real estate shoot. Sneakers that are light, flexible, and thin are versatile enough for the different surfaces you’ll be walking and standing on, without taking a toll on your feet and legs.
Again, darker shoes are your best bet for shooting real estate. Dark sneakers are less likely to cast reflections on your shots, saving you from a reshoot or extra time spent in post-processing.
Boots for Landscape Photography
Trekking through the wilderness to shoot Mother Nature at her finest makes for some stunning photos. It can also involve a dangerous hike, especially without proper footwear.
Landscape and wildlife photographers should invest in a pair of durable, comfortable boots. If possible, try to find a pair that is also waterproof or water-resistant for hikes in inclement weather or over challenging terrain.
Some photographers may even consider carrying an extra pair of rubber or mucking boots. These boots are often made of a material that allows you to walk through mud and water without getting wet and dirty.
Shoe Covers for Photographers
Shoe covers are another helpful addition to a photographer’s gear. Not only do they help prevent tracking dirt or mud into a clean location (like an open house), but they can keep your feet dry, too.
The versatility of shoe covers means photographers should always keep a few stashed in the car trunk or gear bag.
Stay Comfortable With Proper Footwear
Photographers are on their feet for the better part of a day, so it’s important to stay comfortable. Wearing proper footwear can keep you safe when you’re angling for the perfect shot. The right shoes help prevent you from growing fatigued over a long shoot and help stave off the effects of Mother Nature.
At the least, photographers should invest in a pair of dark or black sneakers and, if shooting outdoors, a pair of boots. When combined with a pack of shoe covers, you’ll be ready to shoot in nearly any condition.
Every photographer is familiar with bad weather. In this line of work, contending with a thunderstorm or some snow is simply a fact of life.
But bad weather makes for a bad excuse when it comes to a shoot, though. To those with a keen eye, poor weather conditions have plenty of opportunity — if you’re prepared for them.
Bad Weather Leads to Stunning Shots
Before I talk about how to shoot photos in bad weather, let’s talk about why you’d even bother.
Ask yourself: What happens before a beautiful rainbow is revealed across a lush valley?
That’s right — a storm.
Braving Mother Nature presents the opportunity for photographers to take stunning, emotional, and atmospheric photos.
Ominous and dark storm clouds cast a sense of mystery over a landscape. Drops of rain hanging from a leaf can create interesting and thought-provoking reflections. Snow can evoke feelings of coziness or add a layer of texture or mystique to a shot.
More, photos taken in and after bad weather can be added to a library of shots to be used in editing projects or more artistic works.
Protect Yourself and Your Equipment
It’s important to protect both yourself and your gear when shooting in bad weather. While camera equipment is expensive, it’s ultimately replaceable. You, yourself, are not.
Preparation starts long before you even venture out into nature. Start by making sure your camera and lens are weather-resistant. Once you’re sure your gear is weather-resistant, be mindful still to protect it from moisture.
Stow away some napkins and microfiber cloth to wipe down your camera when needed. Try not to put your camera too near your body, as the warmth can cause issues with any collected moisture.
Before heading to a shoot, check the forecast for what to expect. A light thunderstorm or snowstorm isn’t anything to scoff at, but it’s cause for concern when inclement weather becomes severe weather.
Check in with a family, friend, or peer before heading to a more remote or dangerous shoot. If you’re going hiking or delving into the wilderness, let someone else know your plans. In a worst-case scenario, rescuers will have some idea where to start searching for you.
Don’t rely on a single device for plotting your route. If the batteries die or the device is broken or lost, you need to have a backup. While you’re at it, plan multiple routes to and from your shoot. If weather conditions make one route impassable, having a second already plotted can get you out of a hairy situation quickly.
Most importantly, don’t forget to pack warm clothes, a change of clothes, an emergency blanket, snacks, and any other equipment or tools you’ll need to combat bad weather.
How to Shoot in Bad Weather
Once you’re onsite and marveling at the wonders of nature, it’s time to get shooting.
Certain weather conditions enhance a given shoot, like the backdrop of a cloudy sky vs. an impressive waterfall surrounded by lush green. Likewise, light can complement or frame the colors of a shot.
Sometimes, however, the toughest part of shooting in bad weather is the wait. Some of the best opportunities come shortly after clouds part or immediately following a storm when the landscape is shown in a completely new (and renewed) way.
Consider what time of day you’re shooting, too. Weather makes for a different effect on a shot taken at morning, noon, or night. What impact would an early morning rain have on a shot you’re planning to take? What about a light snowfall at dusk?
While you’re likely using a lens hood, don’t be afraid to take advantage of water droplets on the lens. Allow yourself to be creative, even when it comes to your equipment. Change the aperture or rig an umbrella to your tripod (when weather permits). As you experiment, you’ll make the bad weather work for you.
Explore the Effects of Bad Weather on a Shoot
It’s not always comfortable or fun to be under the effects of bad weather. But by properly preparing for inclement conditions, you can capture some of the most interesting and beautiful shots of your career.
I strongly believe in the power of volunteering and giving back to one’s local community. To that end, I recently joined my friend and Brent Loe Photography admin, Rachel Barnett, as a volunteer for Educurious.
Educurious is a platform to connect students and young adults to business professionals. Its mission is “to empower and motivate young people to achieve academic, career and personal success through transformative learning experiences.”
Students who participate in Educurious are given the opportunity to practice real-world interactions with business professionals. They’re given the chance to ask questions of business mentors to learn how to apply their skills to the world that comes post-schooling.
As part of Educurious, Rachel and I recently visited a high school as part of a group of 15 other business professionals. We conducted mock interviews with high school students to give them a sense of what to expect as they transition from high school to the professional world.
I look forward to continuing to volunteer with great organizations such as Educurious! Giving back to the community is an incredibly rewarding experience and is just one way to help make our home that much better.
Homelessness will always be apart of our society until we can move past the competitive arena. That said, it doesn’t have to be as severe and constraining as the current circumstance in Seattle / New York.
Homelessness can be attributed to two categories:
- Individualistic Problems
- Mental Health, Addiction, Domestic Violence, etc.
- Managment Problems
- Money, Zoning, Inaction, etc.
To alleviate these problems we need to work on long-term solutions and not continue to put out the fire.
Open safe space clinics in something similar to storage facilities for addicts and individuals – making people feel they’re apart of a new community and that they have a place to be productive when they’re ready. Force is not the answer.
Funding – where do we get it? Look at the region and see what outpaces the balance. Real Estate and tech are the two big ones in the Seattle area. Tax or incentivize the Real Estate industry. “Cash-for-cars” the single-family homes and devise an initiative to streamline the rezoning effort. Tax homes over $750k. Incentivize tech and businesses to showcase their support for the homelessness initiatives – work with review website (google, yelp, zillow, likewise, etc.) to display a banner for the businesses that donate or show dedicated support.
Create an institution with the authority to reprimand inaction by government officials. Consider the loopholes and indecision.
Effort, experience, generational-empathy, and community-willingness will prove most valuable.
Lens Compression: Does It Exist?
It’s easy for photographers to assume lenses affect the compression of a shot. The belief is that a wide-angle lens will distort the subject and cause the background to look much further away than it is.
If you take a few steps back and switch to a telephoto lens, the subject and background will appear closer together, or “compressed.”
Many photographers make the mistake of assuming it’s the lens that creates this compression effect — hence the term “lens compression,” after all. In truth, it’s not actually a result of your choice of lens. This distortion is created by the distance between you, your subject, and the background.
Why Lens Compression Doesn’t Exist
Lee Morris over at Fstoppers conducted an interesting study to demonstrate that “a wide-angle lens cropped in and a telephoto lens will create the same amount of foreground and background ‘compression,’” so long as the camera remains in the same place.
As shown in Morris’s sample photos, compression occurs when you increase the distance between yourself, your subject, and the background. To halve the size of a subject that is one foot away, you would need to move back another foot. At the same time, the background remains almost identical — it doesn’t become halved at all.
That’s because your subject is so close, and the background so far, that the ratio dictates your subject grows smaller faster. In order to maintain the same size of your subject, you will need to zoom in or crop the photo afterward.
What’s Actually Happening Then?
What’s happening in any of these situations isn’t actually lens compression, but perspective distortion. The distance from your camera to your subject is what causes distortion.
The term “lens compression” should, as Morris states in his YouTube video, be replaced by something more akin to “perspective compression.”
This knowledge won’t affect how you shoot photos, of course, but it’s an interesting technicality that explains a phenomenon we’re all quite used to.
This past weekend kicked off the start of Holi, a Hindu spring festival that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s also a time of celebration and forgiveness, of thanksgiving and laughter…and a time to mend broken relationships.
I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about my own personal growth and development recently, made all the more prominent by relationships I’ve been forming and cultivating.
Holi is a time of new beginnings, and I’ve started to reaffirm my focus on growing as an individual. I’ve realized that developing relationships is a key part of bettering myself in spite of my inner introvert.
You’ve often got to push yourself out of your comfort zone in the business world, as my friend Rachel Barnett has shown me. Rachel is a master of networking and is quite persistent with her requests for me to join her at local networking meetups.
Though my introversion left me resistant to attending, Rachel practically dragged me to an event. Soon after, I realized that my personal growth—overcoming my own dread of attending a networking event—equated to business growth.
I’ve even begun attending local BNI events where attendees are required to stand up and speak about our businesses. Public speaking isn’t my forte, but it’s a valuable skill to develop. The more I speak, the more comfortable I become with it—and it’s had a positive impact on my business, too. Through small-scale group networking, I’ve had multiple one-on-one meetings with new clients and interested leads.
I’m a firm believer that everything in life is connected. This belief is the meaning behind my “infinity” tattoo. In life, sometimes all it takes is one domino crashing into the next to begin a reaction.
Opening myself up to be more receptive to personal growth and pushing past my boundaries has opened up new doors of opportunity for me. I feel a sense of kinship with those currently celebrating Holi. As revelers build relationships and celebrate renewal, I, too, celebrate the first steps to a new path full of meaningful relationships and personal growth.
Life begins once you step out of your comfort zone.
It’s interesting when someone, including myself, really starts getting into photography they are shooting every day and processing every image from the shoot. As time and skill progress you’ll get paying gigs and soon realize that 80% is NOT actually photography but marketing and networking… and I’m honestly not too sure how I feel about this. It’s always fun and exciting building relationships but my inner introvert clings to the artistic and introspective side of visual art.
Maybe it’s because I’m at the beginning of the middle and it seems like running a photography business is more about building relationships rather than a better portfolio. Maybe as the business grows I’ll be able to focus more on creating rather than running. It’s really just a journey to learn what fits best I suppose. Trial and Error. Failure. 10,000 hours. Yada Yada.
In the end, it’ll be worth the sacrifices and if you’re on the same path – you know it too. Don’t give up!
I recently had an aspiring Real Estate / Interiors Photographer ask what gear he/she should use. This was my reply:
Heres the list of recommended gear for aspiring Real Estate Photographers. This list has some pieces that even I would like to buy soon.
For the sake of staying economical, we’ll use mostly Amazon as a buying place but other recommended sites are Adorama and B&H as they offer great customer service and return policies.
Sony A6000 – https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mirrorless-Digital-Camera-16-50mm/dp/B00I8BICB2/ref=sr_1_3?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1506521955&sr=1-3&keywords=sony+a6000
The Sony A6000 is mirrorless, compact, lightweight, and has some great wireless features. Don’t let its small size fool you – it’s a fantastic camera and we’re moving into an era that recognizes bigger isn’t always better. The Amazon deal does come with a 16-55 lens which will be perfect for day-to-day use of capturing portraits or other artsy shots.
Rokinon 12mm – https://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-Ultra-Angle-E-Mount-RK12M-E/dp/B00JD4TAWI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485380731&sr=1-1&keywords=Rokinon+12mm+F2.0&linkCode=sl1&tag=phoforreaest-20&linkId=6802d8c4f5a294fcde0d66973e319116
As some photographers put it, this is a UFWA (Ultra… Wide Angle) and creates a lot of barrel distortion. This is usually rectified by Lightroom’s auto-calibrating features but can be corrected even further through Photoshop’s transform adjustment. It’s a super fast lens at F2.0 which means you’ll be able to push the boundaries of low-light photography and have some fun with depth-of-field shots.
Lighting: It really depends on which route you want to take for editing. HDR/Enfuse will require one basic flash. Full Lighting will require at least 3 basic flashes. Flambient will require 1-2 basic-advanced flashes. HDR/Enfuse is very easy but common. Full Lighting takes a long time to perfect. Flambient is right in the middle.
Yungnuo YN560 IV x3: https://www.amazon.com/Yongnuo-YN560-Speedlite-YN560TX-Canon-Diffuser/dp/B0146M307C/ref=sr_1_12?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506522796&sr=1-12&keywords=YONGNUO+sony
Godox AD200: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1FBC3F/ref=sxr_pa_click_within_right_2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3163805422&pf_rd_r=E2W15HJQPV3QR56B4PX4&pd_rd_wg=AIOTb&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_w=rbFEe&pf_rd_i=YONGNUO+sony&pd_rd_r=D1QYGGV33HDEQMMQ40P1&psc=1
It’s recommended that you get light stands for the Yungnuos – something like these will do just fine but you may also want brackets to go with them. A pistol grip is popular with the Godox AD200 but a light stand is just as good.
Tripod: This can be a photographer’s best friend and says a lot about what you like to shoot. This is because they’re so dang bulky, heavy, and just not fun to tote around that if you’re carrying one – people know you’ve got something serious to shoot.
Newwer Carbon Fiber: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NSEKEMO
Vanguard Aluminum: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCA1Y3S
Some RE photographers (including myself) rely on something called a Cam Ranger to shoot without having to set a timer (don’t want to touch the camera!). Fortunately, the Sony A6000 comes with Wireless Capabilities and can be triggered with a smartphone app. You’ll also be able to review the photo on your smartphone app and make exposure adjustments from a distance.
Other than Lightroom and Photoshop, Enfuse is a great tool to have. If I think of anything else I’ll be sure to jot it down. Let me know if you have any questions or need help with anything!
An additional 4,000 troops are honestly peanuts in the grand scheme of war. The U.S. military budget will never lessen until war is a distant thought due to total annihilation. Ground troops have such an insignificant impact on today’s advanced warfare that there is little reason for this addition. The president and his advisors are hoping that time will pass, they’ll collect a check, the people will not care, and the next person will figure out what to do (but not before they’re paid off).
To move forward as a race we have to understand that bloodshed is anything but productive.
War against ignorance, corruption, and greed will be our prime motivators in the future. Stand together and seek to aid a neighbor, not force your beliefs upon them.