Recently I visited Sirromet Winery at Carbrook to do a location scout for an upcoming family portrait shoot. It's a beautiful winery and the location is very popular for weddings and functions. As I've never shot in this location before, I made a point of visiting the location and having a look at the light at a similar time of the day.
I've been there a few times over the years and remember attending with my hubby for his work function some 8 years ago now. I remember it well...I was heavily pregnant at the time. So it was lovely to return and see all the changes. And boy! There have been some huge changes since then.
So I had a look inside The Barrell Hall and then made my way down to the vineyard. I was very happy indeed to find that this particular vineyard sits atop a beautiful hill overlooking a lower vineyard and surrounding bushland.
You know...I have this romantic notion of what a vineyard looks like, with burgeoning vines, heavy with grape and the rich, warm colours of autumn. And when I found the vines pruned and sparse I was a little disappointed.
As a photographer, I tend to have a lot of visuals in my head about how a shoot may look like, based on the images that clients choose. I begin to formulate in my mind how things are to appear. And I begin approaching what scenarios and how I am to shoot them before the photo shoot, based on a number of things. One important thing I consider are my clients tastes, personal style and temperaments.
In the beginning I used to stress if what I had in mind didn't exactly match what appeared before me. Since then, in a short period of time I've learnt some valuable lessons:
- Regardless of how well you plan, plan for unexpected
- It's good to have a plan, keeping the most important shots in mind, but it's best to let things flow and see what eventuates. It's happens more often than not, that the most captivating shots are those we rarely envision. They tend to just happen!
- Stay relaxed...don't rush. It's better to get quality images than a lot of images that are just 'meh'. And anyway...if you rush, your clients won't enjoy the experience as much. It's important that your clients feel like the shoot is an experience to be savoured - not something to be over and done with.
So even though I was a little disappointed to begin with, I began to put those thoughts aside. Because every good photographer knows that sometimes the best images are derived from keeping things simple. When you just simply take the time to be in the moment, you begin to see things that weren't there before.
You can then relax and know that you've done all the work beforehand to ensure that whatever begins to appear before you will be a result of a strange, inexplicable synergy. And it actually begins at the pre-session consultation when you meet your client for the first time and get a feel for, and an understanding of who they are, through the sharing of their ideas and what they essentially connect with.
It really is an organic process and for myself, an important ingredient to creating images that touch deeply.