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For the past few weeks I’ve been fulfilling a series of recurring orders — prints and a custom photo book — at the behest of a businessman-awardee with whom I spent a good 20 minutes doing environmental portraits of he and his wife, family and friends while we waited for the dinner guests to arrive. It couldn’t have happened without that extra time.
I shoot a fair amount of live performance events or podium presentations and the early-bird photographer often gets to shoot the rehearsal and soundcheck opportunities, and even arrange some custom portraits and set-up shots that will be impossible later with an audience on hand.
Sometimes the weather or lighting is good when you arrive, but all signs are it won’t last as storms move in or the sun goes down. With the extra time early on, I can sometimes cajole a client into stepping things up and achieving bonus outdoors pictures while we still can.
When you arrive early, you learn things, you hear things, you talk to people and it can be important to the job since clients don’t always tell us everything they should until the day of the event. At a retired professional golfer’s 90th birthday party I learned that he would be taking the stage to sing Frank Sinatra songs that night.
Which leads me to a final example: If there are any surprise VIP’s or celebrity special guests dropping in, it’s information often held back until event night.
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