Doing photography with personnal or professional assignation

Photo Manon Paquette

Doing photography on purpose whatever it is is to be “on assignation” meaning there is a task (subject), there is a medium (photo), there is a follow up (by diffusing and sharing your pictures). So be on assignation is not a so call professional or strictly journalistic affair. It can involve everybody under some specific circonstances. This is why every types of photographic devices are pertinent to use on assignation assuming the fact they are available and fully operational. For sure the final purpose of your pictures may dictate some technical considerations in doing the choice of your equipment.

But at the end the importance to have a photo result to share is paramount and more pertinent than every other technical aspects. On assignation, “Get a picture first” must guide you in your preparation and execution of your task. And keep in mind that a camera is simply a tool helping you to produce your imagery.

The challenge to produce suitable pictures that answer a specific need can be exhilarating for certain people or simply frightening for others. Yes the pressure is there but it is important to lower as much as possible the “bad” pressure and keep the motivation involved in the production of your project.

Working with photojournalists during several years I had the chance to observe, develop and apply a personal approach regarding on assignation mandates. During the film era it was almost impossible to verify on place your production output except in using small low resolution instants photographs done with Polaroid tests. Now digital photography allows us to do post-check on the spot and to correct  or repeat your results almost instantly. On the other side the time between picture taking session and transmitting them has been reduced considerably and post-production opportunities are less available to photographers. Many automated photo correction softwares are now designed to respond to that new demand but often with the prejudice of preventing more original creativity.

Here are some mottos that I have develop over the years when I am planning a photo project:

Be prepared (materially) meaning be in shape, wear the right clothing and equipment including your back up material;

Be introduced by having the contact, the good credential and by assuming the right follow up with people involved;

Be documented, knowing your subject and its last development may be capital for your approach;

Be smart and stay aware of the context of your subject;

Be result oriented by acknowledging your needs or the needs of your mandate;

Be persistent and make sure to plan some back-up production;

Be aware especially about any security manner about the context you are working;

Be versatile to any in place adaptation or change of your planning;

Be systematic and make sure you follow most if not all your requirement;

Be sensitive about your subject since it can oriente your creativity to new directions.

And be prepared to invest yourself again and again
because you will have the opportunity to learn, try and achieve new ways to fulfil an assignation. Even after these past years to have a certain amount of different assignations I am still ressenting the excitation (and by extension the insecurity) of doing a new assignation or photo project.

At the end what is left of your picture is simply its own impact to the viewer and
this is the most relevant aspect of it.

Lastly every photograph can develop its own style or signature from its own experiences. It is only a matter of believing on his or her ability to do so. Creativity is not an “elite” prerogative of the few but a basic characteristic of all the humanity and others living things.

We do photography on purpose (even for ourself) and doing photo projects may be one of the best way to illustrate that simple fact.

Photo Basic Instincts

What is the best camera for you? For sure the camera you bring with you and take pictures with it!
It may be common sense to bring a camera with you and to take pictures but it is not by far always true when you are observing all the so-called photographers. Many love to play and pretend to be great photo artist and like to flash with expensive pieces of equipment. That last two or three-decade tendency had flourished around the world at a point that real “day-to-day” photographers seems to be an animal in process of extinction with the exception multi-phone snap shooters mostly self shooters.
Urban Sky Scape


Cameras are nice media expression tools and as a tool intended to be used on the main purpose of taking pictures. And take pictures must have some kind of purpose by itself (to look at them, to show them, to share them, etc.) So it bring us back to a debate not on to select or use a camera but when you will use it except for showing to the other fellows (camera shops, clubs, schools are good for that!).
No technically perfect but perfect expression!

Good habits

Learning to interact with your camera will help you a lot to mastermind the medium and will become a second nature to do photography. Take time to play with your tool, to try the functionalities and to discover the full potential of it and there is a lot in it. Go see some “users” reviews that are presenting interesting results obtained during photo sessions. Keep your camera “on sigh” and it will be easy to fulfil most of your photo temptations. Take pictures of your surrounding to find angles, moments, compositions, or exposures that will reinvent the interpretation of your day-to-day world.
Digital is cheap
Yes digital photography is very cheap even if you want to get first class equipment. You just have to watch and wait for the best opportunities to buy products (see my other article about this: )
You can take all the pictures you want and keep them first on your memory card. For editing your computer or tablet will work perfectly. On a regular base you can duplicate your photo files to an external hard disk for future references. But remember the real pictures that are lasting are the one that are still shared and all the others are past and forgotten memories.

Museum are very special space to experiment


Experiment yes but better Persist
You have to experiment to find your own way of photo expression. It is true at first but you must also persist in your search to explore and refine the interpretation of your subject. Get a fine shot at first glance is lucky but it is very difficult to repeat this everyday and everywhere. You must understand in your way how you can reproduce the process of doing the pictures that are pleasing to you and your public. So take pictures, take pictures and retake pictures, again and again.

Edit a presentation and share it

B&W add a lot by graphic expression

So you have a lot of provoking pictures. What is the next step? The next basic step is to encourage yourself to do more photography and as humans we need human reconnaissance. To get that the only way is to present and share your pictures with others. Put pictures on your walls, share over social media, open a Web account, create your own blog, and share your experiences with forum, other blogs and public photo files. Get reactions from others that will motivate you to follow your own path in accordance or not with the public eyes.

And don’t forget that you are a kind of unique person that cannot please to everybody.
Be ready, be interest and press the shutter!

Explore the medium, the subject, the mood

Photography is a medium among other forms of expression. The great artistic representations are the one that the subject transcends the medium. By seeing a picture you trigger a psychological process that will initiate a minded personal quest. So you have to consider things or subjects over the photograph by itself. It is asking a more fundamental task regarding the purpose of doing photography or other forms of expression.

find your own way, explore, repeat, share…
and more important have fun!