Just One Shot

The more expert a person is in what he does, the more what he does looks easy to an outsider. For a painter, he may have mastered the strokes – he knows his paints and brushes and how to apply them to his canvass. The master potter throws the wheel and shapes his pots with ease. The master photographer has likewise mastered his cameras and lights, and positions them with confidence.

In addition to their storehouse of masterful strokes and movements, as professionals, they spend time to prepare for particular assignments.

Let me share this story from John:

He was supposed to do special effects – so he practiced the day and night before, experimenting with the different ways of doing it. When he was happy with the results, he kept his set-up with instructions on the set not to touch anything.

The following day, the client arrived. John did the first shot (of the day), and the client was pleased with his first shot. It took less than a minute to turn on the computer, all the power packs, and to press the shutter. So the client said (paraphrased) – “John, ang dali naman pala. Bakit ang taas ng charge mo? Kaya mo pala in one shot!” (Translation: “John, I didn’t realize that it’s so easy. Why do you charge high when you can do it in just one shot?”)

John then showed the client the number for that particular shot – it was number 403, and showed him the rest of his earlier attempts. The client accepted and no longer challenged our quotation (which, by the way, was signed before the shoot).

Sometimes, even seeing the final product is not enough, especially when the work poured into the job is not obvious. We sometimes need to demonstrate the different steps taken to arrive at the final image. It is our responsibility to show clients that the image they like did not come in just one shot. They do want to understand the process, not just see the result.