A lot of the time in professional photography, it’s not just about getting results, but getting them under exceedingly tight constraints. I’d been hired to shoot an event where this professor had given a lecture … but I wasn’t brought in until after the lecture was over and everyone was eating dinner.
I wanted a portrait for the client to use, but there’s no need to inconvenience everyone. Before contacting her, I quickly scouted the location and found an area where one of the broad fluorescent light banks was out, which made for a nice, broad directional light from the upper left. With a narrow depth-of-field, the window would be an interesting backdrop — the shot was made, now I just needed the subject.
I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if I could take her portrait. “I’ll have you back in 90 seconds,” I said. They never believe that. I took her over to the mark, showed her which way she should angle her body, shot her first pose, give some quick direction and shot the results. 30 seconds of portraiture, and she was back eating dinner a minute later.