The biggest mistake made by photographers


My most challenging assignments are the most personal ones to cover for our family. So while I want to sit back and enjoy myself, I also want to record these milestones in our family life.

When I arrive to cover an event, I often set up strobes to ensure I get good light on the people’s faces. For this event, I set up two strobes off to the sides to be sure the speakers had a good morning.

I took this photo without the flashes going off, so I have circled where they are in the room. The flash on the left is the Nikon SB-800, and the one on the right is my Nikon SB-900.

They are both on the Pocketwizard TT5. I use Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stand – 6.2′ (1.9m)I chose this light stand because of how small it folds up [19.3″ (49cm)] for easy travel through airports. To connect the Pocketwizard TT5 to the light stand, I am using Interfit Metal Umbrella Bracket with an Adjustable Flash Shoe.

To trigger the flashes, I am using the Pocketwizard TT1 with the AC3 to control the flash output on the TTL setting. This way, the camera sensor helps determine the flash output of the flashes.

I guess this involves pulling out the camera and shooting some available light photos or even using an on-camera flash. I want the images to look great, not just usable. I am documenting the most critical events in our family history. My family will cherish these photos much more than if I had great pictures of the President of the United States.

What is the biggest mistake made by photographers? Photographers often put more effort into covering events for clients and not enough into their own families. What is the most important?

While your clients will pay the bills, your friends and family events are the ones that help in making them rememberable.

Do you know what happens when you do this consistently? Your clients also get your best coverage—you are treating them as family. Every business should do the same thing for their families, treating them with your best efforts.