Making robots and speaking Chinese. Sure is fun to be a student these days.

Part of the Robotics Team.

Now that I'm totally finished with my photography project at the school I wrote about I thought I'd spend a little time mulling the assignment over and thinking about what worked, what didn't work, and how to improve my odds the next time I embark on helping to create an image asset library for a company or institution. 

I'm an eternal optimist at the start of every job and an anxious pessimist when I'm packing up the cameras and lights and heading home to start the post processing. I see little reason to worry up front so I'm always a tad light on pre-production planning and making tight schedules. I see little reason for hope once I've snapped the last image and I bite my nails in post production, certain that everything I tried will fail.

The reality is that I spent three days of walking through and around the (pre-K to eighth grade) school relentlessly making photographs. I seem to have arrived at the right spots at the right times to catch well over 2,000 good images (edited down from 3800), but many of them are variations of a set-up. I could get to a higher percentage of keepers if I shot less but my philosophy when shooting in a documentary mode (we did no set-ups) is to keep shooting in the belief that no matter how great the shots you already got are there's bound to be something even better, if you give it all a chance to play out. So that means I shoot the hint of a smile and wait around for that hint to blossom into a full, genuine smile; shooting all the time. Same with action. I also find that the longer I shoot the less attention gets paid to me and the more authentic the expressions and actions of most groups become. I'm sure you can make a case for being a parsimonious shooter