Nowadays, I have invested some time in doing some photo shoots for businesses in my local area. It’s not much, but I try to help out these small businesses market their products by giving their products some decent head-shots. I’ve had a few restaurants, some clothing stores, and even a few schools that asked me to do a photo-shoot for them. I thought that they were going to be easy, but they proved to be a tad difficult due to the fact that they didn’t really do much to stir the creativity in me. It was hard to work with a blank canvass and you have no idea what to put on there.
But one of the most difficult projects that I’ve ever had the chance of working with was a driving school in Kitchener-Waterloo (link to their site). Now, I am going to tell you why the concept of shooting photos for a driving school is difficult for an amateur photographer like me. Take note that I charge small payments for my services because of my amateur skill level. I just help out small businesses when I can.
First, let’s start out with a concept. Normally, you can think of a concept that’s derived directly from the business itself. For example, a restaurant business can have a concept of two people wining and dining. A clothing store can have a picture of two models showcasing their entire spring lineup, but a driving school is pretty difficult. After much deliberation, the client and I decided to follow a school-like approach wherein the photo showcases teacher and student behind the wheel. I went in way over my head with this one.
Second, the shots were also very difficult. Now, I was thankful that they also had classrooms so I could show a teacher teaching lessons to kids in an environment. The hard part was showcasing them behind the wheel of the car. As it was impossible for me to get a good shot from the passenger seat, I realized that I needed to be at the front of the car. I had to strap myself in at the hood of the car, lying prone or down on my belly to get a good shot of teacher and student behind the wheel of the car. What made this difficult was that they made the car move so it would look legit (and the fact that I was also shooting a video for their commercial).
Overall, the shoot was very successful, albeit a little too challenging for me given that I had no equipment at all to carry out the tasks. I think the moral of the story here is that you should always be equipped when you’re a photographer. It was later when I realized that strapping myself onto the hood of the car was unnecessary if I had a high magnification lens.