Digital photography is an art form that allows individuals to express themselves. That doesn’t mean it must be or should be done alone. Photography as a “team sport” may not be the first thought that crosses your mind. Many photographers, however, especially beginners and amateurs, have discovered that sharing an occasional assignment or picture-taking adventure with a “photo pal” is very beneficial and enjoyable.
Here are some reasons to start a photo-pal relationship with another photographer.
A preliminary tip is to look for someone with relatively the same experience, skills and equipment as you. A beginner wouldn’t have enough pre-knowledge to understand many of the advanced techniques of a professional, especially if the amateur was using a compact digital camera and the professional a DSLR. A professional wouldn’t learn much from a beginner and might become frustrated that he spent the entire shoot trying to teach the amateur those advanced techniques (which he or she never seemed to grasp) instead of taking his own digital pictures.
When you do choose a photo pal with identical or interchangeable equipment, both of you have immediately doubled the size of your camera bags. You’ll have a greater array of lens, filters, artificial lights and other accessories to expand the type of photos you can take. Plus, it’s wonderful to have buddy with you that has an extra memory card or set of batteries that he or she is eager to lend you.
It’s probably safe to say that two humans interact best when they share an interest, hobby or passion. Their visions and goals are nearly identical, which creates one of those synergistic moments when the two of you are able to create greater digital photos together than you ever could alone. There’s probably some truth to the idea that the interaction with another photographer of similar skills opens your mind to see your subject matter in new ways, allowing you to produce some of your best work.
Although you may share a passion for digital photography with your photo pal, and even have the same equipment, you each bring a different point of view and shooting style to your shared assignment. In fact, it’s important to choose a photo pal that does have a very different perspective than you. That contrast will help both of you continue to develop your photographer’s eye.
Discussing and understanding why your photo pal shot a particular picture a particular way is an excellent learning method. You’ll be surprised how digital photo techniques that have given you trouble are suddenly clear when you learn them from a friend during your photo field trip.
Another reason to work with a photo pal is the value of an extra pair of hands and eyes (and even additional muscle if needed). You’ll have the opportunity to take some photos as a true team, each contributing to the composition and techniques used. Either of you also make an excellent light or reflector stand for the other. Having someone available to hold a flash unit some distance from the camera could make all the difference in taking the best picture possible of a subject.
Twice the Results
Whether you and your photo pal are shooting an event or a morning of nature photography, do a bit of planning, so each of you separate and take pictures of different parts of the event or the woodland. You’ll happily discover when you return home that not only will you have twice as many digital photos, but also they complement each other as well as present exciting contrasts.
Improve your photography skills quicker and make your hobby, your passion, more enjoyable with a photo pal.