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Buried Treasure

For many folks, 2020 was a year of change, and for me it was no different. Early this year I purchased my first "professional" grade camera, second hand, a Canon 5D Mark II, along with my first set of studio strobes. I was all set to book lots of shoots and create lots of great images.

Then Covid happened. In 2020 I was only able to book a handful of paid shoots which doesn't do much for a fledgling business trying to grow. As a result, I was forced to grow in other ways, like improving my editing skills, and developing my Google "My Business" page.

Fortunately, I had my lovely and faithful model, Jessica, who I was able to arrange five shoots with this past year. This gave me a lot of extra content with which to practice my editing and flood my instagram page (@jbr_photo). Just to make sure I'm not somewhere out in left field with my editing, I send 95% of my edits to Jessica first to make sure I get a positive response.

While perusing my various photography groups and pages that I am a member of, I frequently see the question of whether photographers should keep all there shots forever or only keep the ones they are going to edit and/or print and then delete the rest to save storage. If you want my opinion (I know you didn't ask for it, but here it is anyway), I say keep everything if you can if storage is not an issue for you.

What I have found, is that when business is slow, it gives me the perfect opportunity to review my previous work and see how I've developed as a photographer.

I often find that when I look back over previous shoots, I discover images where I say to myself: "That looks awesome! Why did I pass that one over?". Then I take that newly discovered diamond-in-the-rough, apply any new editing skills I've learned over the last little while (as I am always seeking out new YouTube videos to help me improve) and develop that rediscovered image into a beautiful shiny gem!

Note that the desire to edit a photo is in no way a negative reflection on the model.

It is primarily to improve upon the image quality to compliment the model in a way I was not able to capture "in camera". Often, I'll try changing an image to high contrast B&W, or I'll try a different technique for skin smoothing or tweaking the colour.

BTW - I'd like to give a shout out to Jessica (@thecolouritburns). She is not a professional model (yet) but has a natural flare for it. Because of her willingness to be a model for me and her patience while I play with settings and adjust lighting to get things "just right", I have grown leaps and bounds as a photographer. Thanks Jess!

So, the more of the story is - take lots of pictures and go back often to previous shoots. See how you've developed. Look for opportunities to apply new skills. Maybe, just maybe, you'll find a buried treasure as you dust off your old work.

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