ONLY ONE THING.....
That I wish I had used earlier, that I'd taken the time to learn. Something that you might think is really basic but actually when you are in the rhythm of a photoshoot you can quickly forget to use and regret it later. But if you use it consistently it becomes part of your routine and you don’t even think about it
Something technical… snore… zzzz
Bare with me all you creatives....
But seriously though, there are some things that can really affect your photography and make you feel frustrated, this is one of them. Remember that session you felt like you nailed and then you get home, upload your images onto lightroom and BOOM realise your focus was off…….. not creatively off, not emotionally off, but technically off. Literally your focus wasn’t good. Photo after beautiful photo you have to trash because they can’t be used.
The answer? I was like so many... focussing and recomposing for every shot. Every shot.
Fixing this issue is as simple as setting the AF Points manually or “Auto Focus Points” (not to be confused with Manual Focus, very different) every single time you take a shot.
If you are not sure what I mean watch this Youtube video (this guy is hilarious and slightly passive aggressive but totally speaks my language) he describes the issues with "focus and recompose" really well.
When I talk about focus I don't mean crisp obvious-everything-in-focus-boring kinda focus, I mean deliberate choices even at a shallow depth of field. See opening image, it's not crisp and all in focus (boring) thats because I deliberately focussed on her fringe knowing that it would soften the whole image leaving a really dreamy 'painterly' image. The focal choice needs to make sense for the image to work. You're with me I can feel it.
My camera has the button on the back, I have my finger on it the whole time I am shooting my subject, when I move the subject or myself I adjust the AF point. Simple and doesn't slow me down because I've perfected it. Give it time and you'll feel the same.
I used to keep my focal point in the middle of the lens thinking that I could focus and then move my camera to frame the shot….. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It's like sometimes I put darks in my wash and it's fine and other times everything comes out grey. You can leave it to luck and hope for the best or you can nail 99% of your images by learning how to work this small step into your routine.
My advice to you you would be to dig up that manual now, sit down with a cuppa and get focussed………. it'll be worth it trust me.