Over the weekend I had wonderful time photographing a very good friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in ages. Initially, we were just getting together to have some dinner, chat and catch up and that’s exactly what we proceeded to do after she picked me up at the bus stop (Hey Megabus is a bargain of a bus line and comfortable too). Afterwards, since it was raining and we were near her apartment we decided to head on over to her place for some coffee. I have to confess that on the way down into the city I kept thinking how if I ever got the chance to photograph my friend it would be at her apartment because I have always loved the natural light that comes into her living room. Not only that, but my friend is a beautiful person not only on the outside, but on the inside as well. She’s very smart, always has great funny stories to tell and is incredibly generous. I have always believed that qualities like these translate into beautiful portraitures.
When we got to her place I noticed that exquisite light coming in from the window (do other photographers get as psyched and pumped up over light as I do?) Since I had brought my camera with me I turned to her and asked if she would like to have an impromptu photo session. My friend was like “sure” and the next thing I knew we were raiding her closet for “wardrobe changes”. Did I mention that the women in my friend’s family have an incredibly keen eye for clothes and decorating. They make going mountain climbing in Italy look like an ad from Ralph Lauren.
Anyhow, about an hour into the photo shoot we were having a blast. As time went on my friend just relaxed and had fun and I got the shots I have always wanted to take of her. I realized that one of the things that made this impromptu photo session go so smoothly is that I had already pre-visualized this shoot in my head. While the session wasn’t planned, the way the room looked, the way the light was falling and the way my friend was coming across through the lens was what I had envisioned a long time ago. Of course it helped that these factors were aligned, but what I got out of this photo shoot and what can be applied to future shoots is that the more pre-visualization we do as photographers the more we will get out of our sessions. Perhaps we may not get the chance to peruse the location we will be shooting in because it is at someone’s house or the location is a bit aways from where we live, but if we can gather as much information about our clients and the locations where we will be shooting at then this will help us pre-visualize shots in our heads, thus making the photo shoots run more smoothly. As for me, after years of pre-visualizing the shots I wanted to take of my friend I think I can say that the pictures that came out of the photo shoot came out extremely well.

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