As I begun progressing in my photography career, I began having clients ask me if I would shoot tethered. I admit, I had to do a Google search to figure out exactly what this meant, and it was a bit of a challenge to get a tethered setup going. First off, let’s talk about what shooting tethered means and why it is an important service to offer. Very simply, tethered shooting is connecting your camera to a computer so that when you shoot, the pictures you take can be immediately viewed on the computer screen. Until recently, the camera and computer could only be connected by a cable (usually a USB cable), which is why it is referred to as tethering.
Many photographers and bloggers have written tutorials and made YouTube videos demonstrating how to shoot tethered to a laptop or PC using just a USB cable and Lightroom. It’s a pretty straightforward process once you get the initial setup going, but it has its downsides. As a Canon shooter, you need to download a piece of software called “Canon EOS Viewer” or “Canon EOS Utility” that comes free on a CD with your DSLR purchase. But if you’re like me and completely neglected that CD and have no idea where it is, you’re out of luck. The software curiously can’t be purchased or downloaded anywhere on Canon’s site. You’ll have to do some digging through storage or ask a friend to borrow their CD to get the software. Apparently if you’re a Nikon shooter, you’re almost worst off as you have to purchase the software. Besides having to find or purchase the software, the other downside to shooting tethered to a laptop is the burden of carrying that huge device around while shooting. Not exactly the most portable solution.
So why is shooting tethered important? From a client perspective, it’s a valued service since everyone who wants a say in how the photos turn out can have the ability to view them full screen almost as soon as they’ve been captured. It can be unsettling to photographers to have your images viewed raw and unedited, but trust me, it’s better than having unsatisfied clients later on. When you’re shooting tethered, your clients can critique the angle, lighting, and overall turnout of the photos and sign off on them right then and there, eliminating the need for a re-shoot. This is pretty much essential when you start working with commercial clients when art directors, managers, and stylists get involved. You want to make sure everyone is satisfied with the products as they are being produced.
Another cool thing about tethered shooting with a laptop is the ability to control your camera remotely. Once you’ve got the camera setup you want, you can essentially be sitting at your computer and remotely fire your shots, examining and processing your photos as they’re taken. It’s processing on the fly, which is pretty cool.Finally, tethered shooting is great for posting instantaneously to social media. When you’re shooting something cool and want to share your images immediately with your social network, tethered shooting is a great way to do this. You can instantly select the photos you want to share, retouch them in Lightroom, and upload to 500px, Flickr, or Facebook in seconds. Just make sure you have your clients’ permission first!
The more I researched tethered shooting, I figured out how to do it in two alternative ways using less gear. Click below to read more!
- Tethered shooting using a Nexus 7 tablet or Android Smartphone (with wires)
- Tethered shooting using a Nexus 7 tablet or Android Smartphone – WIRELESS – Coming Soon!