Site reconnaissance has always been something I consider essential before shooting.
A few days ago, I just saw a bride sharing the process of shooting wedding photos on an online forum, mentioning that she found out there was an event happening on the day and couldn’t enter the venue for the shoot.
If it is a large-scale event at a famous landmark or tourist attraction, it is usually possible to search for it online before the shooting day. In the article, the bride takes on this responsibility herself, but I feel that the responsibility lies more on the wedding dress company.
If it is decided on the same day to go to the location for shooting, and upon arrival, there is a problem, I believe this is a test of the photographer’s on-the-spot reaction, and of course, it is also gambling on the decision-maker’s luck.
If the location and date/time for the shoot were already decided long before the shooting day, I believe that both the couple and the photographer should take responsibility.
I think the most reliable approach is for the photographer to schedule a preliminary visit to the location after confirming the shooting date and place. Regardless of whether the place has been photographed or visited before, it is important for the photographer to take the initiative to arrange a visit.
Site reconnaissance is to observe all the details of the site and arrange a shooting plan, including terrain, road conditions, route arrangement, timing of the route, parking lots, shaded areas for breaks, duration of stays, and subsequent connecting locations, etc.
Then provide the subject or newcomers with the shooting plan for reference, so that if there are new ideas, they can make changes or make backup plans after conducting on-site surveys, just in case.
Photographers really cannot find the time and need to visit the location in person for a site inspection at least one or two days in advance.
I will arrange my wedding photography and bridal photo shoots outside of northern Taiwan in the same way. Even if the couple doesn’t have time to accompany me, I will still go and take a look myself. At the very least, I need to know how much time it will take for me to get there. Being late on the day is the most irresponsible attitude.
In addition to on-site survey, it is also important to pay attention to factors such as weather conditions, road closures, street closures, and major events that may prevent filming at the location. These can be easily researched beforehand on the internet.
I have mentioned before that photography is not solely the responsibility of the photographer, nor is it solely the responsibility of the subject being photographed. In addition to proposing a shooting plan and making shooting choices for the subject, the photographer should also actively inform about potential situations and problems. The photographer can also take the initiative to share and resolve problems.
If I feel like I’m paying a photographer to shoot, the photographer is responsible for all the responsibilities, or if the photographer feels that they can adapt well on the spot, they don’t need to discuss with the subject. Anyway, if there are problems on the day, there is always a way to solve them, at worst just delaying the shoot.
I believe all of the above ideas are incorrect and unnecessary.
If anyone could know in advance any problems that would affect the shoot, I don’t think anyone would want to find out only on the day of the shoot.
If anyone could know in advance any problems that would affect the shoot, I believe most of them can be resolved by finding solutions or coming up with one or two alternatives for the subject to choose from. Rather than waiting for discrepancies between the alternatives and the subject’s ideas to arise and then reflecting on them.
Everyone hopes for a smooth filming process, but not everyone may be aware of or agree with the costs involved before shooting.
Only by engaging in effective and open communication can individuals from any standpoint engage in dialogue and discussions, enabling smooth filming and achieving perfect results.