Lessons from a Live Event
A few weeks ago, Isaiah Industries gifted a needy family a new roof through “Roofs of Love.” Larry and Darlene Case, an older couple in Michigan, had a metal roof installed a few years ago, but it was an agricultural panel and wouldn’t last. It had already leaked, and they needed a permanent roof to take its place. Partnered with American Metal Roofs, Isaiah Industries pledged to buy them a new roof and have it installed in a day, all for free.
Throughout this event, I acted as photographer and videographer. I took pictures and videos of the home, interviewed the homeowners and employees, and recorded the day’s events.
Here are some lessons I learned from that muggy August day:
Be prepared. My goals were to take pictures and video, so I packed my camera, audio equipment, and tripod. I knew I might have to shoot an interview, so I brought a few wireless microphones for my subjects and a microphone for my camera. A video tripod and a small stand for my audio recorder completed my setup. Besides equipment, I prepared the night before by heading to bed early. I woke up and arrived 30 minutes before the event began. Scouting the location out, I walked the perimeter of the property, deciding the best angles. I also brought snacks, water, and insect repellent, which became crucial as the mosquitos arrived (they prepared to bite me as many times as possible in one day.)
Be flexible. Installation started at eight, as trucks rolled up and workers piled out. The job finished at five after the contractors climbed down off the roof and performed a final inspection. Progress was gradual, so taking pictures the entire time wouldn’t be feasible. After capturing the tear-off of the old roof, I made a trip around the building every half hour. As the day progressed, I decided not to shoot any interviews, just footage of the house and the event. Instead, I packed up my audio gear and focused on getting more photos and videos. Another photographer was present, so she took care of the interviews. While she was posing questions, I got pictures for our shared use.
Communicate with your team. I was operating my camera for this event, with my coworker flying a drone for aerial shots. To get the best images and stay out of each other’s way, we created a plan for the day. We discussed angles based on the layout of the house and property, and I stuck with the drone operator to stay out of his view. We also steered clear of the other photographer as she filmed interviews. By talking through our process, we could all get what we needed without getting in the way.
Execute your plan. The first three lessons set you on the path to success, but your preparation, flexibility, and communication don’t yield success without putting them into practice. For this event, that meant shooting plenty of test photos, experimenting with angles, camera settings, positions, and narrowing down my approach until I got good results. We didn’t miss any action with my coworker covering the aerial shots, the other photographer running interviews, and my coverage from the ground. We published live updates, got video clips for later, and great beauty shots for everyone to enjoy. We worked together and arrived at a great result, capturing the event’s success for all parties.
It was great to reinforce these lessons through the event. My preparation meant I could be flexible, and communication opened the door to execute our vision. As a result, we successfully documented the joyful day for the Case family and their new roof.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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