Frequent commenter Andrew Ferguson pointed us to a recent article he wrote about how to shoot in stressful situations. He has some good ideas, here are my favorites:

Think about the bigger picture: The temptation to forget yourself and frantically snap shots of whatever looks interesting can be dangerous. Try to keep in mind who your audience is and what your editor/client will want to see.

Talk to another photographer: You’d be surprised how much insight having a chat with another photographer can offer. Sometimes having someone else look at the logistics of your upcoming shoot can make all the difference. Without the blinders stress inflicts, they will often see things that you’ve missed. They don’t necessarily have to be a more experienced photographer, but it definitely helps.

Practice, practice, practice: Not used to dealing with stressful shoots? Assign yourself some! Do a photo shoot with minimal camera gear, use just ten exposures, or finish in less than fifteen minutes.
Shoot in burst mode:** When it comes to high stress photography situations like weddings, journalism and sports, it’s best to use your camera in burst mode. A fast burst of shots gives you greater potential to capture that “perfect” moment.

—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor