Get the Complete Package
Porcupine photo that has been requested by BBC Earth
When I first started out as a wildlife photographer, I was solely focused on capturing the subject. I have written before about the stages of growth of a wildlife photographer and how you move through various stages to get to a point of capturing award winning photos. When you are working close to the top stage most of the the time you cannot just sit back and do the same thing over and over again. You need to keep pushing the limits. I am always experimenting with different lenses, different shutter speeds, different light angles and different techniques. Experimenting gives me different shots so I do not have a series of images that are essential 300 pictures of the same animal but with the held tilted one way or another or a leg up or down. I have a dynamic range of images presenting the subject in a variety of ways.
In addition to the close up I had taken zoomed out habitat images
Besides experimenting to build that range of images on an encounter I also alternate between shooting video and photos. Do I miss some great shots while filming sure, but I have a great video in which that great moment that would have made that great shot is captured. And while I might miss a shot or two while experimenting and videoing what is important I have a complete package. What do I mean by that? It means that if an editor should ever want a series of images for a publication I have a range of images from close ups to habitat photos, different light angles, different presentations, different perspectives AND I have video. If an editor is interested in reproducing the works for print they can choose one photo from the series or numerous photos from the series and not feel like they are printing the same thing over and over on several pages. If they are looking for digital content I have video to augment all those images. AND that was just the case for me last week.
Video of the porcupine moving through the snow covered field
I had my pinching me I am dreaming moment. BBC Earth you know David Attenborough… Frozen Planet, The Blue Planet, Planet Earth that has 9.7 million followers on Instagram… that BBC Earth sent me a request asking to feature one of my images on their social media channels and website. I was speechless. They had specifically asked for one image but had directed me to send any other images or video from the series I felt were appropriate. Now if I had simply a series of images all from the same angle, same zoom length, same lighting I would have nothing to offer but the image that was requested. However, I had close-ups which happened to be the image requested, habitat images, different angles and video. I was able to send them the complete package of the encounter.
A different angle and different editing to change up the image series
Aside from this extraordinary opportunity having different angles, different zoom lengths, different shutter speeds, etc. means that you can offer a series of images as a set of prints which I have started to concentrate on featuring. This can help up your sales revenue by upselling from one print to a package of prints. For folks buying prints it takes the guess work out of what would work good together and lends well to the current trend of grouping images on a wall. So when you are in the field, try to get the complete package because you may never know when you may need it.