Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Cherry Supreme.
Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Cherry Supreme.

I truly enjoy chocolate. My grandmother makes chocolates as Christmas gifts each year, and as a student in High School I worked at a chocolate factory everyday after class. So, when a prospect called to inquire about making pictures for her candy business, I was well prepared to discuss the details of the process, and as we made the pictures she kept commenting about how nice it was to work with someone who knows the business.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Mint Wafers.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Mint Wafers.

I have another client who makes specialized trucks used in the petroleum industry, and I used that kind of truck in a previous career. He also says he prefers working with me because I understand the features and can show off the important things without being told.

Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8 lens @24mm, f/16, 9 frame bracket for HDR, ISO 100.

Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8 lens @24mm, f/16, 9 frame bracket for HDR, ISO 100.

I’d like to suggest that knowing about what you shoot will make your shoot better. Bob Coates, a terrific artist, recently shared an article with me mentioning Da Vinci’s notes on the Mona Lisa, including insights to her character. Da Vinci spent time getting to know his subject. When you photograph subjects you are knowledgeable or even passionate about, that insight will show in the images you make.

What’s that you say? You’ve never worked in the oil field? That’s where a few minutes on Wikipedia.org will help you gain insights from others’ experience. Whether you photograph landscapes, chocolates, trucks, or people, time spent studying your subject will pay out tenfold in the quality of your images and the quality of the experience you will have making them.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Carmel.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 100. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Carmel.

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Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Great points! I had an experience doing this when I did a volunteer shoot for a nonprofit organization recently. I was a bit out of my element! It was a good experience, though.

    Reply
  2. Absolutely agree – I had the chance to work as a photog assistant this summer for a softball tourney. She took the photos and I ‘shopped and printed them. Her daughter had come up playing softball, so she was intimately familiar with the game and was able to capture the most important moments in each game. Time after time, as parents and grandparents came into the tent to order photos, I heard them exclaiming over how well she’d captured their child in the middle of the game.

    Reply
    • OH, that’s a great example, Ian. As a business, when you make a picture that parents relate to they are bound to buy it, and that’s good for them and you.

      Reply

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About Levi Sim

Photography is my life, and I'd like my photography to be part of your life, too. Whether I make pictures with you or help you learn to make your vision pop out of the camera, I'm happy to help.

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Commercial, Food, HDR, Photography, Shooting

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