Shooting Blind Will Blow Your Mind

Boudoir portrait of a woman with angel wings, photographed by master photographer Mark Laurie who specializes in female nudes and boudoir images.

Yes, it’s an over the top claim, but it’s an over the top approach to vaulting your confidence and your ability.

Digital cameras have that instant feedback; that little LCD screen on the back. It’s a handicap though; it has a lot of down sides. The first is the disconnect with your subject, as checking back on how you did gives the subject a sense that you are not sure of how you are doing.

It’s dangerous making decisions based on how a small LCD screen recreates what you just shot. The exposure you see is dependent on the brightness the screen is turned up to. What it looks like is based on the camera’s chip representation of the picture mode you have selected.

Basically, it’s a crutch that distracts you.

So here is the trick, the challenge. Some of the greatest photographer trainers have their students do this. It always shocks their students, terrifies some. Improves all.

It’s gaffer’s tape over the LCD screen.

Really, just tape it up. Not just for one session, but for a week or 10 sessions.

Steel yourself; it won’t be easy.

Now, you are not without tools to get your exposure. Watch the settings inside the camera. Judge the light quality, the amount. If you have it or can borrow it, use a light meter. Use it correctly – aim it toward the light with ambient light.

Don’t peek the whole time. Develop your instincts, interact with your subject, become more connected to your setting and less to technology.

It will enrich your abilities. Yes, it will be nerve wracking at first, but you will get through that. Your confidence and constancy will leap up. Paying less attention to your tools mean you will be able to pay more attention to your client. This gives them a more satisfying experience. They will connect more with you, which usually means they will purchase more. You will have time to look around, see more opportunities.

You will become more evaluative of light, exposure etc. without the crutch stealing that skill away

I am not saying the information the camera back gives you is not needed – it is great stuff. But it should be added to your skill set, not the only approach.

It is an amazing skill to posses. I have a friend, Rick Bell, who can see a flash fire, and can tell what the f-stop will be. The rare time he is wrong, it’s just by a little bit.

So have a go at it. Challenge yourself. You will be surprised. Be a blind photographer. At the very least, it will impress your client with your daring approach.

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