Pros & Cons of Going Tethered to Shoot Headshots

If you'll be shooting a bunch of headshots—perhaps taking photos for many people in an office—one of the decisions that you'll need to make when you're packing up your gear is whether or not you'll go tethered. In photography terms, tethered means that your camera is connected to a laptop computer, which you'll set up next to you so that you and your subjects can easily view the images that you take. There are several advantages, and also some disadvantages of going tethered. Here are some points to consider.

Pro: Easier to View Images

The LCD screens on the backs of cameras have improved over the years, but they're still pretty small for thoroughly evaluating the images that you take. When you go tethered, it's immeasurably easier for you to view your shots to assess whether they look how you want them to look. This is also ideal for your clients, as they'll often want to see how they look.

Con: It's Bad with Picky People

While you'll likely encounter some people who trust you to get a good shot, there will be others who feel the need to constantly check the images on your laptop and make suggestions. For these people, a quick headshot session can turn into a long one, as they're constantly making adjustments and changing their minds. With a tethered setup, such individuals will often get up and look at the screen—and this can slow down your progress.

Pro: It Looks More Professional

Perhaps you're just starting out as a professional photographer. In this case, you want to do what you can to give off more of a professional vibe. Using a tethered system can help you to accomplish this goal, as many professionals see the merits of going tethered. You may notice that you make your subjects at ease more quickly because they see you as professional, experienced, and competent.

Con: It's More Gear to Carry

Professional headshot photographers may get used to carrying large amounts of gear, but many of them are constantly looking for ways to get around a little easier. If you're already carrying cameras, lenses, and lighting equipment, a laptop and the necessary cables, as well as a special stand to hold the laptop next to you, can all add bulk to what you need to carry for each shoot. Once you've evaluated how you feel about the pros and cons of a tethered setup, you can move forward accordingly.