When I am shooting a story it is often of people with a job to do, which means they can’t afford to be distracted from their work. So I’ve become skilled at keeping out of the way and being as inconspicuous as possible. Such was the case with the hay-makin’ story I wrote about in my previous post. But in addition to the story, I wanted to get portraits of each of the three people I was documenting.
Elaborate setups were not going to fly so I got one light prepped on a stand and then waited when one would have a down moment, such as when the tractor driver was waiting for some oil. Then I ran my light in, directed their pose, snapped a few shots, and let them get back to work.
For me, so much of “getting the shot” has little to do with camera equipment. It has more to do with vision, but even more to do with preparation, the ability to think and work fast, and balancing being polite and respectful with still working hard to get what you need. It’s a skillset I’ve refined over years of experience and relish putting to use.