We’ve often said that our staff works to get it right in-camera as much as we possibly can. And to that end, we genuinely shoot for the JPEG to look as close to our original creative vision as possible. It helps to separate us from being a photo editor and processor vs. being a photographer. Of course, someone can be all of them at the same time. Some of us, though spend days in photoshop for one image while others spend hours on one image in-camera. So here’s how you can prevent the feeling of being a lazy photographer.
Here’s the big question: who cares? Well, it could be your clients or your peers. It could also be your editors. If you’re shooting for your personal reasons, then that’s fine. Do whatever you want, but remember that when you put your work online, some folks might think you’re a lazy photographer. But you don’t have to be seen that way.
How to Not be a Lazy Photographer
Here’s an extensive checklist of things to do to prevent the feeling of being a lazy photographer:
- Consider in-camera settings more carefully
- Manually choose the white balance
- Use off-camera lighting, especially flashes, because they will give your image more pop and prove mastery over lighting.
- Consider alternative processes like slowing down shutter speeds to give the effect of motion in the scene.
- Use second curtain flash
- Adjust the saturation, color, clarity, and more in-camera.
- Use a tripod and get the perspective absolutely 100% perfect
- Consider lens filters to get special effects
- Build your own sets
- Use things like the exposure preview effect to understand what you’ll get beforehand.
- Experiment with camera profiles. This is really easy if you’re a Fujifilm or Panasonic camera user.
- Multiple exposure modes are your friend.
- In-camera options like Live ND, Live Composite, and more are great ways to prove that you’re not a lazy photographer.
- Try things like taking a photo while manipulating the zoom setting on the lens.
- Shoot film
This list could truly go on and on. But these are all things that you can do in-camera to get a better JPEG and not be a lazy photographer because you’re shooting JPEGs. In fact, did you know that most Getty photographers are only allowed to shoot in JPEG? So they’ve got to be really good to do that!
In the end, always remember that you have to just go shoot. If someone thinks that you’re lazy because you’re shooting for the JPEG instead of slaving away in front of a computer for hours, they could be wrong or jealous. Instead, you might just be a much smarter shooter. There are lots of photographers that shoot 20 frames a second to get the best portrait. And then they just worry about it later on in post-production. Why not try to get the best shot you can in-camera in the first place? I used to see this years ago when I’d see journalists shoot 5 frames a second of products at tech events.
Instead of valuing longer processes that make us tired and work too hard, why not work smarter? Working smarter doesn’t make you a lazy photographer. It makes you one that will survive and can think for themselves without needing to rely on technology to do all these crazy things.