Wouldn’t you know it. I am at the Four Seasons in Kingston, Jamaica for breakfast today (not today “today,” but as I write this “today”), and out of nowhere six or seven people emerge for a photo shoot. Not of me mind you.
The cliche Austin Powers photographer is barking out commands in preparation for the shoot. A model stands in the shade off in the distance, as a makeup artist applies makeup, another feeds her water and grapes (literally), and yet another is circling around her with a cooling fan.
The photographer has an even bigger team. They are moving furniture. They are holding up reflective boards. Lights are being assembled, dissembled, moved and reassembled. The photographer is evaluating each setup with rigor.
All this goes on for an hour. Then the shoot begins. Yeah baby! Yeah!!! Two hundred pictures and thirty minutes later. They’re done. They got those two or three killer shots they needed – the ones that will go on the cover of Vogue.
How about you? In your life long collection of photos how many killer shots do you have? Two? Maybe three?
You have taken pictures your entire life. From Polaroid to Kodak to iPhone, you have taken hours and hours and thousands and thousand of pictures. If you add up all the time you’ve spent taking and posing for pictures over your entire life, you would have days and days worth of camera time. Yet you only have two or three killer shots to show for it. The Austin Powers photographer got the same thing in one and half hours. What’s the difference?
Simple. It’s preparation. Even if you didn’t have the skill and practice of a professional photographer. Even if you didn’t have the great equipment or big lights, if you spent just a little bit of time preparing for a great picture you are way more likely to get them.
Everyone smoosh together – smile! – click, is not preparation. That’s taking a picture.
Finding the spot, making sure the lightening is the best it naturally can be, and applying a touch of make up, turns an ordinary smile-click picture into a extraordinary make-this-into-a-poster-and-tack-it-to-the-ceiling-above-your-bed picture.
In your business, you are not always going to be the most skilled. You are unlikely to have enough experience. And you surely won’t have the best equipment. But you always have the time to prepare.
Just doing it creates the ordinary. Preparation creates the extraordinary.