SOOC stands for “Straight Out Of Camera“ and it is the image as it comes out, without any editing or retouching. It does not matter if you consider a RAW file or a JPEG one, as long as you consider it without any editing, you have a SOOC. Today we will dwell on the importance of taking good photos SOOC, both in terms of professionalism and both in terms of business viability.
The quality of a SOOC goes from good focus to good exposure, from capturing the right moment to taking one shoot instead of five. It is having a good file without the need of modifying it.
Being a “Good Photographer” seen from a SOOC perspective
I am an old-school photographer, but I still think that the good photograph is the one that looks great SOOC. This is in both from a business perspective and from an artistic perspective. If you are in the space of visual artistry, then it is the final product that matter, but it is still not very time savvy.
Capturing great images SOOC takes time and dedication, it is the craft of being a good photographer. The goal is to become able to create great SOOC photographs consistently.
It may feel even too logical, but to be a good photographer, you need to be able to capture good photographs.
Time is money
I have heard this many time, and it makes business sense. For me time is freedom, and the more I have, the better I live. What does this have to do with good photos SOOC? Simple, the time you need to spend in front of your computer will be much less if your SOOC photos will be better. Think about it: taking one image instead of five will reduce your culling time; capturing the right crop SOOC and the right exposure will cut down your editing time and so on.
I am a photographer, not an editor, not a retoucher; I love to talk with the people I photograph, to capture beautiful photographs of them. I want to spend my time like this, not behind my computer screen.
If I invest one hour more behind the computer, it is an hour less I can use shooting, finding new clients, engaging with old ones!
How much time you save shooting good SOOC?
Let’s try and go down to nitty-gritty numbers.
Good photographs straight out go the camera:
- culling 150 photos instead of 600: 10′ per session
- being able to apply the same preset as the photographs are balanced: 10′ per session
- avoiding cropping and adjusting exposure: 30″ per photo
Considering a shoot with 50 images per shoot, we can save (10’+10’+30″x50) 45 minutes. If you don’t consider this number high enough, you shall think that those 45″ become almost 8 hours for a wedding. But let’s consider only the small numbers. Three quarters of an hour does not seem much, but if you shoot one hundred sessions per year, then you are wasting 75 hours every year because you are not being careful enough when you shoot. 75 hours are two weeks of work.
Is it starting to make sense now? If you add this number to what you can save by using a good approach to editing, you can realise that you are just wasting your life behind a computer.
The guilt of not editing a SOOC enough
One of the things I have personally felt after I improved the quality of our images, is the editor’s guilt. When you spend 10 seconds instead of a couple of minuted to colour balance and re-crop an image, you feel like you are cheating. Taking photos that looks great SOOC means that you can relax, and the more you get better at taking photos, the less you have to fidget behind a computer.
Few weeks ago I spent less than 30′ to prepare an entire session of 50 images to send to our retouchers. I felt like I was cheating, as I had not invested enough, that I was overlooking some important colour tone or detail. Truth was that the SOOC photo looked amazing, and that is photography!
What do you feel about SOOC photos? Are you proud of what you create before applying anything in post production? Have your say!
PS: The images linked to this article have been imported, I have imported a quick black and white conversion and here they are, unretouched!