Overshooting may sound like it's a dumb thing to do, but over my time doing photography, I’ve learned how important it really is. Here, I will go over a few reasons why you should shoot more than you need to. They apply to almost any sort of shooting situation.
When out shooting for yourself, you are free. This is the time you shoot as much as you possibly can and create the images you have in mind, whether you are shooting landscapes, portraits, clothing, products, or whatever else you can imagine. Use this free time to experiment, because you may end up using that same style in the future for a job when you are comfortable, consistent, and like the way it looks. If you do not take the time to experiment, you do the same thing over and over and have a fear of trying new things; you may never know how good you really are. Don't be afraid of having too many photos; be afraid of having too many photos you like! There is nothing worse than realizing something went wrong with a shoot once it is all over.
Sometimes, when we are working with a client, we have time restrictions, and these can really limit the amount of photos or videos we may be able to get while we are on their clock. Make sure you go to the job and get all the shots you want. Once you are sure those are done and you have some time, move on and get more shots if you need or want to. These are the ones that you can be creative with and really show your style. Again, this really depends on what you are shooting; if it’s real estate, maybe you adjust the lighting in the room to get a perfect photo. If it’s a modeling shoot, maybe you crack that last joke to really get your model to smile, so you have a look you love. If it’s a landscape, maybe nature needs its time to provide that shot for you. If you are shooting food, maybe the lettuce is hanging too low on the sandwich, and you need to lift it back up to get that appetizing shot you've been dreaming about for months. Whatever it is, you won’t ever get the time to go back to that moment you had, because when the shoot is over and you are home, you no longer have control of how you shot those images. You may end up sitting at your computer, regretting the whole shoot you just had, or even worse, debating whether or not you are good enough to do your trade. Shoot more, because if you don’t get what you need to, there is no such thing as going back in time to redo the shoot, not for a while at least.
Honestly, overshooting can be annoying because you have more to go through, but at the end of the day, you are better safe than sorry. When I first started shooting, I failed to shoot enough and almost couldn't finish a job because of it. After that small experience, I made sure I took more than enough photos at each job, because if a client ever asked to see more photos, if I had a different shot of this, if Brian's eyes weren't closed in DCIM_1321, I would be a lot more likely to have the shots my clients need. Even with my personal work, I shoot way more than I need to, so I can see what other types of photos I can get. I test the light, the camera, the lenses, and their capabilities, so I know what I can actually be doing with the gear I have. If I never did any of these tests from shooting so much, I'm sure I wouldn't have half the content I do today.
Don't be afraid to go home with 1,000 photos from a shoot; you are almost assured you will have one shot you really like from making the effort to shoot more. Maybe out of the 200 you think are cool, 3 of them are awesome. It's up to you to get those images you want, whether you are shooting for yourself or for a client. Go out there, be creative, and shoot away.