This article was written by Rick Gayle for the Better When You Tether series of articles by professional photographers who experience the benefits of shooting tethered in various shooting environments.
Tethering for Happiness
The first question I am always asked – how did you get started in food photography? My answer is ‘you have to do what you love.’ If you do what you love, it’s not work. It’s pure joy. I love still life photography and enjoy how light can help tell a story. Highlights, shadows and texture are the major tools I have to work with to create depth and form. I love how light plays on objects and I think still life is the perfect forum to express it. Even though I started in photography to make a living, product photography and food photography seemed to be a natural extension of my desire to sculpt with life.
When digital changed photography forever…from capture, workflow, and the client’s participation, that’s when I decided to shoot tethered. Clients want immediate gratification and tethered photography allows them to see very quickly how the shoot is progressing. With Lightroom and Photoshop, I can show the client a roughly processed file dropped into a digital layout that is supplied for the shoot. The overall process sure beats the film and Polaroid days!
Now, I have to be honest and say that tethered photography hasn’t changed my photography, but it has changed the efficiency of the process of creating images. Today the people I work with need to wear several hats and time is always of the essence. The digital workflow allows my client to know that, when the shoot is completed, the images will be exactly what they want and will fit perfectly into the layouts.
So, do I continue to shoot tethered? Yes, I always shoot tethered. My clients love knowing what they are getting and can leave the studio with confidence. In food photography the subtle details are what makes an image work and seeing the image on screen allows me to explore every square inch of the image. It gives me incredible control!
Rick’s 5 Tips:
- You must shoot what you love.
- Have patience and pay attention to small details.
- Have a complete understanding of design and how it relates to composition.
- Understand light and how it affects surfaces. You must be a master of lighting and be willing to try new approaches and avoid repeating yourself.
- Be sure you want to be in an industry that’s on a fast track to endless change with fewer assignments and tons more photographers coming up every year.
About Rick Gayle
Since the age of 12, Rick has been attracted to light like a moth. Light is all I ultimately have control over and the way it molds the qualities helps define the objects and tell stories. For Rick, that is and will always be his favorite venue for exploration and excitement. He’s the guy at the table in a nice restaurant using the napkin to reflect the candlelight into the wine glass.
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