Show Up Early

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Changes Coming

First I want to mention that moving forward with this blog I’ll be including more details about the lessons learned on my path in photography. Recently, I photographed John Roderick for Seattle Met. It was a quick shoot, as most editorial portraits are so I’ve decided to write about the importance of show up early.

It’s Always Important To Show Up Early

Show up early, scout, and be ready when the subject(s) arrive. I can’t stress how important it is to always show up early in the world of photography. In my opinion this is the most important rule. That point is even more stress when it comes to editorial photography. If you’ve ever done editorial portraits you know deadlines are come quick.  Subjects often have limited availability and you’ve often never been to the location you’ll be shooting at. That’s why showing up early is a huge advantage. It gives you a chance to focus on the message of the article and how you can achieve the look or feeling you want to give to your image.

Scout And Take Lots Of Test Shots

Once you show up scout around and take a lot of test shots. This helps me because it puts me into a grove and I can find a location where I think I can take a the best photo. After you find the location,  work on dialing in the lighting and getting the composition right. Another plus is if you find yourself setup and ready way ahead of time you can setup another shot in addition to your first one. Sometimes the second or third setup end up being the better shots in the end. Having a second or even third option could also go a long way to showing an art director your professionalism and you’re willing to work hard.

Location And Preparation

John asked that I meet him at a music venue located on Capitol Hill called, Neumos.  Showing up early was huge  for this shot because it afforded me the opportunity to be setup and ready when John arrived. It also allowed me to get more shots of him instead of spending time frantically taking test shots and moving lights around. Shoots like that never go well nor do they make your subjects feel at ease.

A Bit About The Shoot

Speaking of being at ease, I could tell as soon as the shoot started that this wasn’t John’s first time in front of a camera. He hopped up on stage and immediately gave me great poses and expressions.  At first he I tried to give him direction, but he came up with so many great poses I just decided it’d be best to shut up and let the man do what he wanted. This approach ended up being the best in the end because when it came time to pick my favorite image it was really hard. Actually the image I’ve included in this post isn’t the photo Seattle Met chose for the article, but it’s my favorite. To see what they used click here.

Image of John Roderick shot for Seattle Met magazine by editorial and commercial photographer, Joshua Huston.
Portrait of John Roderick at Neumos in Seattle, Washington for Seattle Met Magazine.


I used the house lights to light to add ambiance to the setting and to obviously light the curtain in the background. I used only one strobe to light John and one small silver reflector located camera right for fill. I really like the pose because to me it looks like he’s rolling his sleeves up and getting ready to work, which in a way, he is. Check out my site for a larger version of this photo, and thanks for reading!