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Dean Blotto’s five golden rules

Tack Sharp Images: Whether you play by any sort of photography rulebook or not, having tack sharp images is certainly something you should strive for with your pictures. Take the time; as much as you would with the composition and lighting to dial in your focal points, this will make the difference.

Dry your gear: Photographers are faced with all sorts of weather conditions year round, resulting in wet camera gear, it’s critical to dry out the gear over night after the shoot is complete, this includes your camera bag as well. Cameras, lens and tripods will perform flawlessly for ages, only needing that overnight or in-between photo shoot dry. A dry bag will insure your camera lenses won’t get that little fog circle in the middle of the glass element, which a wet camera bag will produce from interior condensation.

Clean up your mess: People, leave an area exactly as you found it. Whether you’re a one-person show or a complex production shoot, clean up the packaging, refreshment containers, gaff tape and any other materials you introduced into an existing location. Also, if you’ve rearranged the landscape or various items while producing your images, please put things back as they were. Let us be welcomed back to any photo location!

No equipment in your photos: Strive to produce solid imagery that doesn’t include the equipment you used to capture said photos. Keep your scene clean and focus in on your subject matter, don’t distract your viewer with lights stands or misc objects scattered about.

Backup your files at least 3 times: Be the person hearing the stories about lost files, not the one telling your colleagues how bummed you are those photos are gone forever. Back up your files on three separate drives and keep those hard drives in varied locations around the house, with one of them at the office (or at a friend’s house). Don’t think of it as a pain, incorporate the process into your workflow and forever keep every precious moment.

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