You Shoot Tethered… What Does That Mean For Me?

Dan Elias directs Madison while shooting tethered into his laptop.

Dan Elias directs Madison while shooting tethered into his laptop.

If you have seen any behind the scenes shots of my headshot sessions and noticed a bright orange cable coming out of my camera, you may have wondered what is that thing? This post is to explain exactly what it’s for and how it affects your shoot. Basically, it is a direct connection to my computer.

So, what exactly does this mean for you?

I’ve found tethering to be a tremendous coaching tool and a great editing workflow. You see, by tethering into the computer, very shortly after clicking the shutter, your image pops up on my computer screen. That serves several purposes. 

First, I can check the exposure and focus very quickly and accurately. This helps to ensure that we know that you have the best quality images. It is obviously more accurate than looking into the small screen on the back side of a camera.

Secondly, as a coaching tool, tethering gives us immediate feedback during a headshot session to know what’s working and what’s not. For example, during a session, I have people move in ways that don’t always feel natural. Those of you who have been in the studio will recognize phrases like “forehead out, chin down” and know what I am talking about. Initially, people may be uncomfortable being in positions that they aren’t used to. However, after I bring a person over to the computer screen so they can see what those movements and stances look like on camera, the rest of the session is a snap!

Thirdly, I review your images with you both during the shoot and afterwards. We will work as a team to choose images that you will be proud of. In my headshot sessions, there are no surprises. When you leave my studio because you’ve already seen and been part of the process of choosing your amazing shot(s).

So, in summary, coaching and editing are the reasons I chose to make the investment in tethering gear. This adds up to an easier collaboration between you and I and no surprises in the end.