login info join!
Forums > Photography Talk > shooting ratio Search   Reply
Photographer
Deji Joseph
Posts: 62
London, England, United Kingdom


I was wondering what a good shooting ratio should be I.e No of quality shots taken:Total No of shoots taken for a single light setup and single outfit,  and how long should that shoot last. This would be helpful as a guide to see how much i have/need to improve my shooting.

Thanks

D
Dec 03 12 05:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Deji Joseph wrote:
I was wondering what a good shooting ratio should be I.e No of quality shots taken:Total No of shoots taken for a single light setup and single outfit,  and how long should that shoot last. This would be helpful as a guide to see how much i have/need to improve my shooting.

Thanks

D

Shooting ratio is irrelevant. Results are what matter.

Do what works for you. Don't be fooled into thinking that shooting less or shooting more is inherently better. What works for somebody else may not work for you.

However, if somebody tells you almost every frame they shoot is a 'keeper' then take a close look at their portfolio and decide for yourself whether their idea of a 'keeper' matches up to what you would hope to achieve.

FWIW, my ratio of retouched images to frames shot varies from maybe 1:50 to less than 1:200 depending on the model and many other factors. Either way it doesn't bother me as long as I get something I feel I can use from a shoot.

And further, sometimes I ditch entire looks too - not everything always works (especially if you're experimenting, taking chances and learning by your mistakes) and it's better to accept that than to put out sub-standard images just because you feel you should give the model pictures from every look.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Dec 03 12 05:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eros Studios
Posts: 690
Boston, Massachusetts, US


That's going to change over time, with experience and your style as you evolve.

My suggestion is for you to always strive to improve the "keepers":"total shots" ratio everytime you shoot, as well as the # of shots that you're happy with  "out of camera" meaning before post production.   The better an image is before post, the better it will be after post.  If you keep these things in mind, consciously, everytime you shoot and learn from your mistakes your ratio will improve naturally.

I also feel like you have to balance the above goals with the pace of the shoot and the model(s) you're working with.  For me, I've found if I get to annal-retentive over the lighting and every shot all spontaneity gets lost for both myself and the model - and I don't like shooting that way; there's no "rhythm" to shoots like that and I feel they lack a lot of "creative juice".  So, slow down enough to be quality conscience, but don't bring the shoot's pace to a crawl either.

This is a personal preference - I know there are great photographers who do work this way with great success. 

What works for you will evolve over time, as you learn from your own successes and failures.
Dec 03 12 11:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,373
Seattle, Washington, US


Deji Joseph wrote:
I was wondering what a good shooting ratio should be I.e No of quality shots taken:Total No of shoots taken for a single light setup and single outfit,  and how long should that shoot last. This would be helpful as a guide to see how much i have/need to improve my shooting.

Thanks

D

the ratio doesn't matter. what matters is your ability to see.

Dec 03 12 01:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


If using large format, you want something like a ratio of 1
Dec 03 12 01:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,104
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


Way back in the days of film I remember one definition of the difference between a Pro and an Amateur Photographer.
An amateur shoots 36 photos and expects 36 will be good.
A pro shoots 36 and hopes one satisfies the client.

Ratios are meaningless. Depends on what you are shooting and what things you can control. The more you shoot the better you get, especially if you get good feedback from people whose opinion you respect.
Dec 03 12 01:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


1 quality image > X where X is the total number of images taken.
Dec 03 12 01:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,209
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Yes, realistically irrelevant as it depends on your own personal; definition of 'keeper'.

But for me personally, it's running at around 1:178.
Dec 03 12 02:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
testingphotography
Posts: 185
Seattle, Washington, US


Totally different genre but I believe Ansel Adams iconic images came out to something less than one percent of his total output.  What percentage would have been acceptable to clients for specific jobs, close to 80% I would imagine after seeing some of his commercial work.
Dec 03 12 02:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,106
Orlando, Florida, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

Shooting ratio is irrelevant. Results are what matter.

This is really the answer.

Dec 03 12 02:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Black Swan
Posts: 1,080
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I call it the (commercial) production ratio - I tell my new students to begin working towards 10% good production with about 1% making it to publication.

(btw - the other side of this self-evaluation technique is what I call the "piss test" and in the old days passing this test is how I gave out large format photo paper for darkroom work.)

This can be an aide for the photographer to evaluate their own skill level and has little to do with anything else.  Hopefully it should increase in time. A little like target practice at a firing range. I will say that while shooting a large project tethered, clients are very impressed when they see the images coming fast and almost all of them have good consistent production value.

There are those few that are born with the vision/eye.  Then this kind of  personal evaluation method is less meaningful and may actually be harmful.

On an artistic level this kind of evaluation should go out the window and the student can buy their own paper.
Dec 03 12 02:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,206
Salem, Oregon, US


many of my shoots seem to last about 90 minutes, especially with paying customers. models can often go longer. at the beginning we used to do these epic 4-5 hour shoots but partly that was because i was training the wife to shoot.

for mayhem you only need a couple really good ones.

in the studio i have a lot of control and shoot into a TV so the percentage of decent ones can run fairly high. but only a few are ever awesome. but i had a family of three in yesterday and i swear those guys couldn't take a bad picture -- nearly every image was great.

for paying customers who buy our digital package we promise 25-35 images but often give more. obviously these aren't all fully retouched.
Dec 03 12 02:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,055
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

Shooting ratio is irrelevant. Results are what matter.

Do what works for you. Don't be fooled into thinking that shooting less or shooting more is inherently better. What works for somebody else may not work for you.

However, if somebody tells you almost every frame they shoot is a 'keeper' then take a close look at their portfolio and decide for yourself whether their idea of a 'keeper' matches up to what you would hope to achieve.

FWIW, my ratio of retouched images to frames shot varies from maybe 1:50 to less than 1:200 depending on the model and many other factors. Either way it doesn't bother me as long as I get something I feel I can use from a shoot.

And further, sometimes I ditch entire looks too - not everything always works (especially if you're experimenting, taking chances and learning by your mistakes) and it's better to accept that than to put out sub-standard images just because you feel you should give the model pictures from every look.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

+1

Not only is the "ratio" irrelevant. It will vary greatly depending on the model.

Dec 03 12 02:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,859
Portland, Oregon, US


I have this theory, which I call the "Keeper Ratio".  It's more relevant to film.  Y'see, processing film in the darkroom is a big investment of time, and the bigger the format, the fewer the exposures, and the greater the darkroom time investment.

When I first got started, I used a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film, and I could develop 2 rolls (or 72 exposures) at a time.  When I got started, I only had a 2-5 "keeper" in a 72 exposure batch. 

After a while, I became more deliberate when making exposures.  My "keeper" ration improved 2 maybe 20-30 "keepers" in a 72 exposure batch.  That was when I got my first medium format camera, which had 15 exposures on a 120 roll.  I still could develop 2 rolls, or 30 exposures, at a time.  So, my "keeper" ratio was effectively down, with only 5 or so "keepers" out of a batch of 30 exposures.  Again, I became more deliberate, and my "keeper ratio" improved to 15-20 "keepers".

So, then I got my second medium format camera, with 10 exposures on a 120 roll film -- I still could develop two rolls at once, but my "keeper ratio" went down.  After a time, it improved.  So then, I moved to 4x5 because I had a good expectation that I'd get some "keepers" out of all the work I did. 

So, a "keeper" ratio was an important indication to me, telling me when I was ready to move up to a bigger camera that required a bigger time investment.


I should say that digital photography kinda screws up my "keeper theory", because there isn't a big time requirement that is proportional to the number of exposures.  But it was a good theory for a while.
Dec 03 12 02:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


I found this an interesting read.  I read it a LONG time ago...  Surprised I found it.

http://photo.net/learn/portraits/intro

"Elsa uses a 20x24" Polaroid camera. Film costs about $50/exposure, so she limits herself to two exposures per subject."
Dec 03 12 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Nick Peluffo
Posts: 120
Brooklyn, New York, US


Ratio of keepers improves automatically everytime the following milestones are reached:

You buy a better camera but you're using the same old computer.
You get a "Space critically low" warning on you 8TB raid backup.
The realization that 100 nearly identical shots look just as identical zoomed to 100% in Lightroom.
The realization that choosing the best picture is not nearly as satisfying as taking it.
When you upload a file dump through Dropbox and it takes more than a day.
If you click "next" fast enough, it looks like motion-capture.
When you can't order enough fuses for your strobes to last you one shoot.
When your model is panting, and you're doing a figure shoot.
Dec 03 12 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,974
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


I always admire the shooting ratio of Buzz Aldrin.

http://chb.live.mediaspanonline.com/assets/425973/4KQ_2012_Aug27_NeilArmstrongMoonWalk.jpg

.
Dec 03 12 02:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Azimuth Arts
Posts: 1,419
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:

Shooting ratio is irrelevant. Results are what matter.

Do what works for you. Don't be fooled into thinking that shooting less or shooting more is inherently better. What works for somebody else may not work for you.

However, if somebody tells you almost every frame they shoot is a 'keeper' then take a close look at their portfolio and decide for yourself whether their idea of a 'keeper' matches up to what you would hope to achieve.

FWIW, my ratio of retouched images to frames shot varies from maybe 1:50 to less than 1:200 depending on the model and many other factors. Either way it doesn't bother me as long as I get something I feel I can use from a shoot.

And further, sometimes I ditch entire looks too - not everything always works (especially if you're experimenting, taking chances and learning by your mistakes) and it's better to accept that than to put out sub-standard images just because you feel you should give the model pictures from every look.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

+1000

I'm usually lucky when I get 1:100 that I really like - and often 1:500 that I am in love with.  Though there are certainly some models I have shot with where the numbers are much better.

Dec 03 12 03:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I always admire the shooting ratio of Buzz Aldrin.

http://chb.live.mediaspanonline.com/assets/425973/4KQ_2012_Aug27_NeilArmstrongMoonWalk.jpg

.

He cropped the feet, so this image is worthless.

Dec 03 12 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,194
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I always admire the shooting ratio of Buzz Aldrin.

http://chb.live.mediaspanonline.com/assets/425973/4KQ_2012_Aug27_NeilArmstrongMoonWalk.jpg

.
Extrosy wrote:
He cropped the feet, so this image is worthless.

Seriously. And how hard could it have been to get the horizon even close to level? Somebody forgot to put a grid screen in that Hassy.

Dec 03 12 03:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,974
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Extrosy wrote:
He cropped the feet, so this image is worthless.

The website (where it was lifted) cropped the image. The original is bigger...

http://sadhillnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/neil-armstrong-first-man-on-the-moon-walk-sad-hill-news.jpg

.

Dec 03 12 03:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


AgX wrote:

Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I always admire the shooting ratio of Buzz Aldrin.

http://chb.live.mediaspanonline.com/assets/425973/4KQ_2012_Aug27_NeilArmstrongMoonWalk.jpg

.

Seriously. And how hard could it have been to get the horizon even close to level? Somebody forgot to put a grid screen in that Hassy.

At least you can photoshop in more black space to level the horizon, but you can't photoshop in more feet.  I guess they could just schedule a reshoot at the studio these were taken at.  Just dust off the backdrop.

Dec 03 12 03:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:

The website (where it was lifted) cropped the image. The original is bigger...

http://sadhillnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/neil-armstrong-first-man-on-the-moon-walk-sad-hill-news.jpg

.

This just makes me wonder what else they cropped.
What aren't they showing us?

Dec 03 12 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Artist/Painter
MainePaintah
Posts: 1,685
Saco, Maine, US


Extrosy wrote:

This just makes me wonder what else they cropped.
What aren't they showing us?

The rest of the studio set it was shot on.
It's true, they shot the whole thing on a studio set! I read it on the internet so it must be true!  smile

Dec 03 12 03:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,194
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


MainePaintah wrote:
The rest of the studio set it was shot on.
It's true, they shot the whole thing on a studio set! I read it on the internet so it must be true!  smile

Um, I don't think so. Verified transcripts from the lunar landing:

Armstrong: “You got it?”
Aldrin: “Yep.”
Armstrong: You sure?”
Aldrin: “Dude, I said I _got_ it.”
Armstrong: “’Cuz I’m not coming back up here.”
Aldin: [sighs]: “Fine. Just stand over there, princess. I’ll take another one.”
Armstrong: “No need to get huffy, I just want to make sure you got it.”

Aldrin: “Um, Houston, Neil’s being a whiny bi-“
Armstrong: “-Hey! I heard that!”

Collins: "If you two don't simmer down out there, I swear I'll turn this whole mission around!"

Dec 03 12 03:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JGC Photography
Posts: 134
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I always admire the shooting ratio of Buzz Aldrin.

http://chb.live.mediaspanonline.com/assets/425973/4KQ_2012_Aug27_NeilArmstrongMoonWalk.jpg

.

Its funny...That image is wrong in so many ways yet it is so priceless...
Most of the greatest photos in history are poorly composed and exposed.

Dec 03 12 03:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 5,974
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Extrosy wrote:
This just makes me wonder what else they cropped.
What aren't they showing us?

That golden pipe in the foreground is a touch-sensitive probe extending about 3 feet vertically from the base of the footing.

Once the probe touches the Lunar surface in the final descent, it automatically shuts down the main rocket thrusters and the ship gently plops down.

The whole base of the lander was wrapped in gold foil.

.

Dec 03 12 03:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sourcelight Photography
Posts: 245
BOISE, Idaho, US


We're pretty anal here about lighting.  It may take me 10-15 minutes to get background, costume, lights, pose, etc. set to something I'm satisfied with.  Then, 6-10 snaps with variations for the model's poses and expressions, and we move on.  It's not unusual to get only 50 or 60 shots in a 2-hour session designed to capture just a handful of finished images.  If we're doing a concept shot for a product (poster, greeting card, t-shirt, etc.), I'll be looking for just one image.  I know what I want, and there's little point in capturing a bunch of superfluous images I know I'm not going to use.

Ratios are largely irrelevant, imo.  If a client comes in for an executive portrait, you'd better be prepared to get a usable image in 15 minutes or less, and if it takes more than a half-dozen snaps, you're gonna look like an amateur.  I had a billionaire CEO once warn me that his time was worth $60 a minute.  I was set up when he got there, took a sober shot, a smiling shot, and we were finished in five.

OTOH, when you're photographing children (or pets), you'll have a limited amount of time to accommodate their limited attention span, so I tend to fire off a lot of shots per minute while I'm bantering with them to hold their attention.

I think more experienced photographers tend to be more efficient in their shooting ratios, especially if they're old farts like me who came from the film era where "spray and pray" could get REALLY expensive.

I notice the difference most often with weddings.  Unlike a lot of new shooters who offer the couple a thousand images on a CD, our biggest package promises a maximum of 150 FINISHED shots, including prep, ceremony, and reception.  Being able to recognize and visually tell their story in under 200 targeted photos is my job, and that discipline is why they hired me in the first place.
Dec 03 12 04:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Graham Glover
Posts: 1,250
Oakton, Virginia, US


Sometimes ratios matter, sometimes they don't mean shit.  Back in April, I shot 241 photos one morning.  Only 2 photos mattered, and they were taken 11 seconds apart.

http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v41/p940884105-3.jpg

http://grahamglover.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v43/p743907139-3.jpg
Dec 03 12 08:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 23,947
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


http://andrewthomasevans.me/blacknwhite/jay-cooke-state-park-minnesota-duluth-north-shore.jpg

That was a two shot stitched image, only took two shots total.

http://andrewthomasevans.com/headshots/minneapolis-headshot-photography-hs9.jpg

That is 4 or 5 stitched together, and took around 50 shots total.



It doesn't matter how many you take as long as you get what you want.





Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com
Dec 03 12 09:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,066
Alexandria, Virginia, US


well, when shooting editorial fashion, it takes about 2hrs per look to produce the look (hair, makeup, wardrobe)  and based on our 8hr day schedule I have 30 minutes or so to shoot it.

Generally I have my setup and lights ready.  Generally I could quit shooting in 5-10 minutes as I already have the shots I really need by then.  But I like to shoot for 20-30 just to let serendipity operate.

When I'm done,  at least half of the images are "keepers" but I will only use 1/10 in the story.....

When I'm shooting art projects like today's "Angelus" series the model was jumping and dancing around to catch motion shots -  we did this for probably 20 minutes per look.  Most of the shots are interesting, perhaps 1/10 really capture what we were trying to do....
Dec 03 12 09:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stanley L Moore
Posts: 1,514
Houston, Texas, US


Deji Joseph wrote:
I was wondering what a good shooting ratio should be I.e No of quality shots taken:Total No of shoots taken for a single light setup and single outfit,  and how long should that shoot last. This would be helpful as a guide to see how much i have/need to improve my shooting.

Thanks

D

This is one problem of the digital revolution. I find my ratio is very high. Today's 4 hour shoot I took just over 600 images in 6 or 7 concepts. And many of them will be unusable. I am partially blind and sometimes have difficulty with in camera composition. And so I take many more than needed.

Today's shoot involved something of an unpredictable nature. Check out my avatar. So I had to do many takes to gewt the effect I wanted.

The model also wanted to replicate the logo of a rock band and we spent an hour tinkering with light placement until he was satisfied. That tokk maybe 100 shots.

Back in the days of film you only have 36 frames to a roll. Or 12 on medium format or just one on 4x5. That tended to make one much more conservative and conscious of composition and lighting. Each roll of film was costly and more so with processsing. And Polaroids cost mybe 75 cents to a dollar each. I could see better back then so took far fewer frames than today when each click costs me nothing. But even then I noticed that frames 34, 35 and 36 were often the best of a roll. Then I had to restart after reloading.

I guess my point is shooting ratio depends on the situatuon. Different situations require different responses. YMMV.

Dec 03 12 10:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 642
Oakland, California, US


um as many as it takes to get what you want...1 to a 1,000..."the better you get the less you shoot"
Dec 03 12 10:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,270
Glens Falls, New York, US


Any time you can get an image that you really, really like, it is a successful shoot.  The ratio just boils down to billable hours and possible licensing fees, really.  But if you can walk away with a 'holy crap!' image, then it is a day well spent.
Dec 03 12 10:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stanley L Moore
Posts: 1,514
Houston, Texas, US


MainePaintah wrote:

The rest of the studio set it was shot on.
It's true, they shot the whole thing on a studio set! I read it on the internet so it must be true!  smile

Yeah and my boyfriend is a French model. I met him on the internet.  smile

Dec 03 12 10:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,679
Fresno, California, US


This is one that goes under the kind of silly question. Depends on the shoot. I had llamas shoots were I shoot 2-3 exposures with a viewcamera and shoots were I have shoot 1,000 plus images with a DSLR.

I was ask that question by a wedding couple once how many images to expect, I told them I do not work that way. I will what is needed for the best quality of images.
Dec 04 12 01:11 am  Link  Quote 
  Search   Reply



main | browse | casting/travel | forums | shout box | help | advertising | contests | share | join the mayhem

more modelmayhem on: | | | edu

©2006-2014 ModelMayhem.com. All Rights Reserved.
MODEL MAYHEM is a registered trademark.
Toggle Worksafe Mode: Off | On
Terms | Privacy | Careers