You need reliable gear to capture those once-in-a-lifetime photos

    When you’re a professional photographer in the throes of a shoot, you’re bound to encounter a few once-in-a-lifetime moments that you definitely don’t want to miss. You need to be able to rely on your equipment to capture those moments.

    Bob Davis has captured his share of can’t-miss moments. He is a visual storyteller and co-founder of Bob and Dawn Davis Photography and Design. He pays the bills photographing weddings, events and portraits. 

    “We do these big, crazy ballroom weddings,” Davis says. “The quality that we strive for is to get the best possible photograph at the moment of capture.”

    Achieving the best possible quality

    To get the best possible photograph, Davis always shoots in RAW. For him, RAW shooting retains a lot of similarities to the early days of film photography. 

    “It goes back to my film days as having the negative,” Davis says. “When we have RAW, we can actually develop the image.” 

    With RAW, if his white balance or exposure is off, Davis can correct it with latitude. “[RAW] allows us to extract the best possible photograph we can at the camera’s ability of creating,” Davis continues. Shooting in RAW is clearly the best option when going for the best quality photography possible. 

    There are some setbacks to RAW, however. First of all, RAW files take up a lot of space. Because of the amount of data that is retained, working with RAW files requires a gigantic amount of storage. You’ll also want to think about how long it will take to write all the data onto a memory card or storage drive. It may be more bearable if you shoot on your own schedule, but for pros like Davis capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments on a schedule, waiting on buffer times and file transfers isn’t an option.

    Every pro needs reliable equipment that allows them to capture at the highest possible quality. They need assurance that the moment is being captured. This means professional photographers need fast, high-capacity recording media on top of a reliable camera. Davis’ main camera of choice is the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III, and he pairs it with SanDisk CFexpress memory cards. This gear pairing has come in clutch for Davis many times.

    Don’t risk missing out on once-in-a-lifetime photographs

    One of Davis’ favorite photographs is a storytelling moment featuring Oprah and Maya Angelou. Oprah hosted a birthday party for Dr. Angelou, and it was there that Davis saw a once in a life-time photograph opportunity.

    “So we were at the event, and I happened to see this golden shaft of light shining through the trees, through an open doorway,” Davis remembers. “It was just this beautiful slit of light. So I’m thinking “quick!” I run and I grab Oprah and I say “Hey, Oprah, I got this photograph I want to take of you and Dr. Angelou. And she looks at me and goes “It better be good.’” 

    Of course, when Oprah says the picture better be good, it needs to be good. Davis was able to get both Oprah and Dr. Angelou together to capture a pure genuine moment between them. 

    However, he was only able to get three frames before Oprah left. “I knew everything I did technically was there,” says Davis. “So dependability of the media is key because if I had pulled her away and that image had failed, how would I ever explain that to her?”

    This is just one of many high-stake situations where having reliable gear that can read and write RAW photos fast is absolutely necessary. While you can have a solid game plan going into a job, when you’re in the moment, anything can happen. If something goes wrong, you’ve lost the chance to capture that once-in-a-lifetime storytelling moment.

    “When you’re in the moment, and your card fails or your camera locks up due to the media, that causes a level of stress that gets you out of your zone, so to speak,” Davis says. 

    If you’re worried about your gear and your media, it can ruin a shoot for you and your clients. Imagine not being able to capture the special moments at a huge ballroom wedding. For Davis and his business, that isn’t an option.

    Fast, reliable gear is key

    When it comes down to it, dependability is key for everything we do. Everything you choose to use on the job, at the end of the day, needs to work when you need it. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are as a photographer. You can’t capture anything if your camera stops working or your memory card fails. 

    For, Davis, his EOS 1D-X Mark III and SanDisk CFexpress is his go-to pairing: “It’s all about reliability and dependability and trust. And for that, I choose SanDisk.”

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