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Amy Tierney on the Importance of Reliable Gear when Pulling Off A Massive Project

August 7, 2018

By Sponsored

Photo © Amy Tierney

There are several scenarios that can halt a photo shoot in its tracks, like weather or scheduling emergencies. And while these issues can’t always be foreseen, there are preparations a photographer can take to ensure a shoot continues in the event of a technical setback.

Amy Tierney, the photographer behind Los Angeles-based Thrive Images, says proper planning—and reliable memory cards—allowed her to think on her feet and flawlessly execute a recent shoot for a longtime client when she encountered a major technical glitch.

Hired by Step Up Women’s Network—a nonprofit organization which pairs female role models with girls in under-resourced communities—the sought-after celebrity and portrait photographer was charged with taking 40 portraits of mentors with 60 of their mentees, all in two hours. “The plan was to shoot to the cloud software to give the women mentors and mentees an opportunity to see the images on my computer,” she says. Then, once she had the images she needed for the client, she’d let them take one additional pose of their choosing.

Tierney knew that to pull off such a sizable shoot, she’d need to come prepared. The Saturday morning of the shoot, she arrived an hour early to set up. She got her strobes in place and unraveled the paper seamless, mounted lenses onto her cameras, loaded the cameras with SanDisk Extreme Pro 64 GB Compact Flash cards and fired up her computer.

But while testing, she noticed the images weren’t displaying on her computer as planned; there was no Wi-Fi signal.

Trying to conceal her anxiety, Tierney called the building’s IT specialist who arrived 15 minutes before the shoot was scheduled to begin. With the clock ticking down, he reported that the entire building’s wireless signal was out.

“Obviously we couldn’t wait for working Wi-Fi,” Tierney explains. But while keeping a cool head through the stress of the morning, Tierney had an idea. In order to salvage the shoot, she pulled out her card reader and external hard drive and “got ready to back up the SanDisk cards during the lunch break.” Tierney always carries the cards with her since they’re small and discreet. Plus, an advantage of this solution is that the cards allowed her to shoot RAW and buffer large amounts of data, something that proved to be important since she was firing off portraits in quick succession.

After the stress of the morning, this portrait she shot of mentor Michelle Zauzig—the director of partnerships at an emerging tech company—and her mentees, Evelyn and Zenaida, was the comic relief she needed. “This portrait happened 15 minutes before the end of the entire shoot. It was such a bright spot to uplift the day,” Tierney recalls. “To really bring out the joy, I played along with them—dancing, moving, whatever they were doing. It’s the ‘yes and’ rule of improv acting and it not only produces great reactions, it genuinely feels great.”

The photograph was the silver lining to the unforeseen technical glitch from earlier that day. “I was thrilled,” Tierney says of the portrait. “I knew I had a meaningful image for my client because it captured the warmth and genuine exchange that happens between Step Up mentors and their mentees.”

All in all, Tierney successfully photographed all 40 mentor pairings directly to the cards and was able to deliver an online gallery to the client the next business day.
She says this type of reliability is why she’s been using SanDisk products since 2007. These cards allow her to continue working at the pace she needs to pull off such extensive shoots for clients.

For more information about SanDisk memory cards, visit SanDisk.com.

—Sponsored by SanDisk

Step Up mentor Michelle Zauzig and her two mentees. Photo © Amy Tierney