Some useful techniques for shooting event images for publication and stock include:
► Leave space for text. For both stock and editorial assignments, shoot lots of images and leave space at the top and to one side so that editors who use the image can place text and logos. And given that magazines are vertical, a good assortment of vertical shots increases the usability of images in magazines as covers and full-page images.
► Ensure that you're in sync with the editor. Although there's a good deal of creative freedom given to assignment photographers, you still have to have clear expectations outlined and agreed upon before the shooting begins. Shoot both verticals and horizontals to give editors layout options. If you haven't worked with the editor before, ask lots of questions, ensure that you understand the editor's expectations and needs, and always deliver the images on time.
► Have backup gear. If a piece of camera gear can break or fail to function properly, it will almost always do so on location. Wind, sand, moisture, and dust can wreak havoc on these fine electrical machines. Having backup gear is a must for shooting in environments or situations where your primary camera can get damaged or broken easily. If travelling outside the country, it's also a great idea to have several copies of a list of all your gear — with serial numbers, dates purchased, and estimated values — to speed your way through customs.
► Get model releases. Discuss model releases with the editor for assignments before the shoot. You may also need property releases if shooting real estate or location icons, and it's also wise to get them if you're shooting on private property. If children are in the images, you need to get parent or guardian signatures in lieu of the child's. The ASMP has several samples on its Web site (www.asmp.org) that you can use or you can modify one to create your own.
► Know the 5D Mark II. Before you begin shooting at the new higher ISO settings, do a test shoot and make some prints that a client might request or configure them to the proper settings for use in the publication. Evaluate the prints for digital noise and grain levels that become evident at large print sizes. By doing this, you have a baseline for the highest ISO settings that you can use on the 5D Mark II and still get good reproduction.
► Know the current rates. FotoQuote (www.cradocfotosoftware.com/foto Quote-Pro/index.html) is the industry standard photo-pricing guide for stock and assignment photography. It helps you stay current with the going pay rates for both national and regional publications as well as helping you negotiate use of images on a publication's Web site. Various photo associations, such as those listed earlier in this chapter, provide members with rate information and pricing calculators for stock and online usage.
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