Shoot It Right The First Time

Oh boy.  Talk about learning this lesson the hard way.  How many times will I do this before it finally sinks in?  OK here’s what happened:

I’m on a shoot with my friend Heather Gill (Check out her stuff, it’s amazing at and we are shooting one of our favorite models, Halley, in a 50’s diner in Missoula, MT.  We have the natural light, the giant reflector, the model looks just right, the clothes work, the setting is perfect.  I snap the shot.  I think, “Man, that’s it!!”  Here’s what I shot:


Love it! So I march away thinking, “Rock on!  Awesome!”  As I download the pictures and start reviewing them, one of my photography Jedi Masters, Ben Reed (, seriously amazing stuff) points out this one small detail…

_MG_8252 writing

Are you serious???!!!  I left my PHOTO BAG IN THE BACKGROUND?????  This is beyond a rookie mistake.  I just got so caught up in the shoot that I forgot about it.  …Now what?

Two hours later I have managed to photoshop it out, for the most part. Don’t get me started on matching tones with the green leather on the seats or the weird wall colors…

Here’s the final version:

Halley's Diner72ppiwatermarked

Is it perfect?  No.  Would you notice if you didn’t know?  Maybe.

What’s the lesson?  Look at the details and make sure that it’s right!  Don’t take a hit because you had one guy’s head behind somebody else in a group shot or (in my case) you left all of your luggage in the background.  When your assistant says, “Why should I move that power cord?  You can just photoshop it out,”  tell that person that they can spend four hours photoshopping it out themselves, or that they can just move the #$%^&*@ power cord now….

Check the details and shoot it right the first time.

See you out there…


3 thoughts on “Shoot It Right The First Time

  1. Fantastic post and let me assure you that it’s happened to every single photographer and not just once. You’re brave to point it out. Like Heather every shoot is a learning experience. And, I miss working with you both. We need to make a plan.


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