Master the Fundamentals of Photography

What is the meaning of “Professional”?

In a digital age where photography is easier to learn thanks to the immediate results, the words “Professional Photographer” have changed sensibly. Many photographers coming from the film age (like us, but we were not “professionals” at that time) still focus on the fact that you should make your living out of your craft to call yourself one.
We believe that there is no right or wrong and our vision on that is this: a professional photographer is someone who delivers quality results with every customer, time after time. In this vision I believe that a professional simply… gets the job done!


Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Mastering the fundamentals

One of the big differences that should divide the amateurs from the professionals is a solid knowledge of the fundamentals of this craft. Before calling ourselves “professional photographers” we learned photography under many aspects, in particular in its basic rules and how to apply them. Do you know about shutter speed? Aperture? ISO? Do you know how to know if your photo will be correctly exposed before pushing the shutter and looking on the back of your cameras? These are things that many of us give for granted, but have you ever took a black tape and put it on the back of your screen for a day?

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Being prepared for the unexpected

To make sure to deliver the quality we are used to time after time, we like to know what the unexpected can be, and being prepared for it. There are times in which you cannot do anything but accept something out of the ordinary to happen and make sure you are calm and flexible enough to deliver in any circumstance.
Let’s return to the example of the black tape and make it a little more difficult. What will happen if your camera screen would break during a shoot? From a professional I would expect calm and confidence, especially in front of a customer. Know your fundamentals and deliver!

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Today’s story

What happened in our reality yesterday was something quite challenging (and that made us proud of ourself as photographers). In many years our Canon 5D Mk II never let us down, but we always like to have a backup camera with us. The “unexpected” we discussed before is not if this will happen or not, it is when this is going to happen.
In the past few days we sent our backup camera to cleaning, but yesterday, while at a customer’s house, one of our main cameras broke! The damage does not seem to be huge, just a button that got stuck, but that made every other button apart from the shutter, unavailable.
No buttons working on the camera means that the only working functions were aperture, shutter speed, shutter release and exposure meter. Nothing else mean no screen, no auto focussing, no ISO selection, no camera functions!

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Today’s adventure

I have to admit that it has been a little bit scary to focus everything manually, trustin our eyes, and took some trust to know how to expose our customer’s skin without watching the results straight away. Because there are wlways two of us shooting with two cameras, we had some advantages, as the possibility to check the exposure with the camera that was still working, however it took some good deep breaths to get used to it (and the eye was always going towards the back of the camera after a set of shots!)
We are happy to say that yesterday’s images came out GREAT. This “baptism of fire” allowed us to look at our craft and know that, even facing the unexpected, we can deliver the beauty our women look in our images. Could you?

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

How much do you know about your gear? How much do you master the fundamentals of your craft?

We constantly checked the exposure of the faulty camera with the working one, however knowing your camera and your lenses means knowing what your exposure meter is telling you, and how you can produce your style of images even without checking the back of your camera. Have you ever tried it? Of course I would not recommend you to try this while in front of a customer, but once in a while every photographer should remember that living in the digital age does not mean that you can forget about the fundamentals of your craft!

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Isis Adore photographed by Carlo and Fabiana Nicora at London Boudoir Photography

Showing 6 comments
  • Peter Warrick
    Reply

    Bravo you, Carlo! Absolutely terrifying. Yes we all do rely too much on the screen but i would need a hand held light meter for exposure and then would feel secure. Agree with you over professional: you always, regardless, get the shot! Hope all is going well. Still doing street photography? Also get the 1d…never let’s me down!!!!

    • carlo
      Reply

      Hi Peter,

      I think that every camera sooner or later fails. I had had no issues with my 5D for years, but…
      If you know your camera well enough, you know how to use metering. I spot-meter on the skin and overexpose of 1/3 to 2/3 stop (depending on skin tone) and I do not need a light meter, but it is because I was professionally raised in the digital world! :)

  • Claire
    Reply

    As professional photographers I knew this would not prevent you from getting great photos. I trusted you 100% and at no time thought that your broken camera would stop you from doing what you do so well.

    I look forward to seeing the end result.

    • carlo
      Reply

      Hi Claire!
      A camera is a camera. We have practiced for so long focussing manually and trusting our instincts that even without being able to see the images in the back of one of the cameras I knew we had amazing shots! :)
      We can’t wait to have you back to show you the Claire we see. She is Beautiful, YOU are Beautiful!

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