Learning to be flexible as a photographer: A skill that never goes out of style

learn to be flexible as a photographer

If life has taught us anything, it’s there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. No matter how much you plan, you must understand that life happens.

This is especially true on a photo shoot so it’s very important to be flexible as a photographer. Let’s check out a few scenarios and how you can problem solve to keep things on track.

Learn to be flexible as a photographer

When problems arise, you can approach the problems one of two ways. You can be reactive and get frustrated fast because things aren’t going your way.

I would not recommend this route. It can cause massive headaches for everyone involved in the shoot.

Your alternative option is to try being flexible and adapt to the unique problem or situation. Take the negative and turn it into a positive. Problem solve your way out of the situation and find a solution.

Either way, you need to learn that not every shoot will go as planned and that your problem-solving skills are a characteristic of your personality that you need to consider developing.

Example problems and solutions

The old saying is “go with the flow” but how do you do this when your shoot is being hijacked by problems?

The best advise I can give you is to take a step back and assess each unique issue. Here are a few small examples of making the best of the situation.

1) Problem: Your model is running late and you have time on your hands.

Recommendation: Take the time to scout the location and see what unique angles you can capture before she arrives.

This will make you look even more prepared and you can make up for the lost time by having a better idea of what you’re about to shoot.

Manage your time effectively and start collecting your ideas before the shoot gets started. When he/she arrives, don’t start out by being negative.

Let them know you took the liberty of scouting and you have some great ideas on where to start. This will help jump start the shoot on the best foot forward.

2) Problem: Your camera isn’t working and your team is waiting on you.

Recommendation: While you try to troubleshoot your camera issue, ask your model to practice posing or take behind the scenes video while she waits.

Social media is a great place to showcase your shoot, so this is a perfect time for the model to promote your work.

Normally I have a backup camera available to me, but I know not everyone does. Consider renting a backup camera for the day so you can be sure to plan for the unexpected.

3) Problem: The lighting is not perfect, and you’re having a hard time getting it right.

Recommendation: Communicate with the model that you’re having some lighting issues and you want to move her around a bit.

Let them know that even though it is not ideal, you would still like to experiment with the shots.

This way you are setting expectations onsite so when you edit photos, they know there were some issues onsite.

Work to get ideas from your models, and even move them around to see how the light falls. Keep your mind open to new ideas, and you are sure to make the best of it.

What are the benefits of being flexible as a photographer

  • Less stress and you feel more proactive.
  • Easier to complete a shoot with positive thinking
  • Grow as a photographer and learn from your experiences
  • Learn to go with the flow, and develop your communication skills
  • Develop your problem-solving skills and think quick on your feet
  • Problem-solving is the key

Learning to approach a problem or situation with a positive outlook can be easier said than done.

It can be very easy to look at a situation and get frustrated because you can’t control everything.

When it comes to photo shoots, directing and being in charge usually means you have everything under control.

Even when you feel like nothing is going your way, stay positive and communicate with your team. They are looking to you as a leader so make sure to show confidence and not negativity.

Stay in control of your emotions

I have personally seen photographers get upset on location and the mood instantly changes for everyone around them.

As the lead photographer, everyone is looking to you for inspiration and motivation to get the best results possible.

Negative emotions and reactions will absolutely produce negative results. Learning to stay positive will help curve the negative vibes, and will also help others stay on track.

Nothing says you have to take on large projects

More money, more problems as the saying goes. Larger projects are going to bring about larger problems, but this doesn’t mean to avoid them at all costs.

All photographers will come across shoots that take more time and planning. This is why you should work on your pre-planning and organization skills.

If you feel overwhelmed by the projects you have in place, then consider taking a step back and taking on a few smaller projects to reset yourself.

We all have to take a step back from time-to-time so do yourself a favor and know when your in over your head.

Going beyond the camera

Learning skills on an interpersonal level can go a long way in helping you become a better professional. These skills can help in all industries, especially photography.

In order to grow, you might want to consider business or communication courses online. These can help you learn from more seasoned professionals in very specific areas.

If you’re interested, make sure to check out creativelive.com for classes from professional business personalities.

Collaboration is crucial to collecting ideas

Collaboration is key to making the best of any situation and learning to bring out the best in yourself. This can help you achieve their goals and grow stronger with your team around you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask for the ideas of those around you. Take a leadership position but also be willing to get feedback from your team.

Collaboration skills can be a great life skill that will never go out of style.


It’s not always about crossing the finish line the fastest. It’s putting your best foot forward and realizing you are going to face adversity no matter that business you’re in.

Collect your thoughts. Take a step back and adjust your thinking to provide alternative answers and not just providing more negative thoughts to your situation.

Best of luck on your challenges and I know you will learn to work thought your problems efficiently and effectively.

*Affiliate Disclaimer - I am a proud partner of the various affiliate programs including the Amazon.com Affiliate Program. When you click on my links and make a purchase I make a commision which goes to helping me support this blog. Thanks!

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