By Tammy Porter on | No Comments
Have you ever been taking photos and all of a sudden your camera does something unexpected? If this happens to you right in the middle of a photoshoot it can be extra stressful to troubleshoot, ESPECIALLY when your clients are watching!
So what should you do? Keep reading below to find out:
First, take a deep breath. This happens to all of us at one point or another. Next, try to think of the simple things that may be causing the problem. Here are some examples:
When this happens to me now, I don't panic. Although in the beginning, I used to get so nervous, I would sweat bullets!
Just remember, your client has no idea what is happening to your camera and they really DON'T need to be alerted! Just tell them you need a moment to change your lens or insert a new memory card… then walk away and start to troubleshoot your camera issue.
Here are a few COMMON SCENARIOS that have ALL happened to me during a photoshoot (with potential fixes):
If your shutter won't fire, check to make sure you are not on self-timer mode. Sometimes a camera can get left on a different mode from another day or shoot, and it can be easy to forget.
If your photos are coming out blurry, check your shutter speed. You may have it set for shooting a still subject, and not chasing a toddler on the move.
If you can't adjust your aperture, check to make sure your dial is NOT set to Shutter Priority.
If you can't adjust your shutter speed, check to make sure your dial is NOT not set to Aperture Priority.
If your ISO keeps changing, your ISO is probably set to AUTO. Changing it back to manual will fix this issue quickly.
Are your images showing as super overexposed (almost white) or underexposed (almost black). This can be caused by a combination of settings, but the first thing you should check is your ISO. Try increasing your ISO if your images are underexposed or decreasing your ISO if they are overexposed.
If your camera won't autofocus, check the switch on your lens. Make sure it is set to AF (auto focus), not MF (manual focus). Also, check to make sure your lens is attached properly and clicked into place.
If the view screen on your camera is blank, try removing and re-inserting the battery in your camera. First, turn your camera “off”. Next, open your battery door, remove and re-insert the battery. Finally, close the battery door and turn your camera back on.
Are you seeing colored squares or lines on your camera's view screen? Try changing the SD card in your camera - it may be corrupt.
When you are out in the field moving around and adjusting your camera, it's quite EASY for a dial or a switch to accidentally get bumped to a setting you didn't intend. Here are some situations that have happened to me:
My best advice is to take a few test shots at the beginning of any photoshoot and really zoom in on your view finder to be sure your images are in focus and sharp.
You should also bring your camera manual with you to all photoshoots. It's the best way to troubleshoot an error code on your camera.
It's also a great idea to find a photographer mentor or photographer friend that you can call from a shoot if you're having a problem that you can’t seem to fix.
Its also a great idea to bring a back up camera too, even if it's an older body or a cheaper model of your primary camera… an old camera is better than a broken camera!
A lens can get dirty or worse, and SD cards can become corrupted, so bring an extra lens and multiple SD cards too, if you can.
Do you have any questions or comments about Troubleshooting Your Camera on the Go? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Tammy is a child photographer based in the desert of Arizona. A mother of two, a wife, and a secret lover of interior design. She spends her days juggling a hair salon, a budding children's jewelry line, and her camera. Photography is the driving force behind her relentless need to create beautiful things. You can follow her on Facebook.