Did I tell you how much I fuckin’ love photography!? Being a photographer is amazing. But the true reward comes from the giant smile that graces my face when I am in the editing studio remembering the vibe or how awesome the person I just shot was.
I have to admit, this comes after spending last night editing some photos of a friend I shot a couple of weeks ago. I was in a pinch. I booked a studio to shoot a model, and she backed out on me at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts with her sponsor. The studio pulled some strings to get me that time slot, and I didn’t want to press my luck but asking for them to change the plans. So I just went with it.
I posted some announcements on Facebook and other social media outlets asking if anyone wanted to shoot. Nothing. Just crickets. Not even inquiries that didn’t pan out. I got zero response. So I went on an angry frustrated-filled rant, and my inbox blew up. What the fuck, people?!
So out of the responses I got, I chose a friend of mine. The shoot wasn’t planned to be anything major. I had an important shoot upcoming and I wanted to get in the studio and work out some lighting and get out the studio jitters. If you are just starting out, I can’t stress enough how important just getting into the studio is. Touch things. Move things around. If you don’t have a model get a mannequin. Shit, I shot a lightstand a few times. It just helps get you comfortable in the space.
So my friend comes into the studio and I start visualizing things. I had sketched out a couple of lighting diagrams in my sketchbook and I wanted to try them out. So I set up the lights, put on some music and started clicking.
The vibe was amazing! The photos I got showed me that I needed to work on my lighting more… I made some notes in my sketchbook to help improve on what I had started. After my studio time expired, I thanked my friend for coming by and ran the shoot back in my head. What would I have done differently? What would I like to have tried that I didn’t? What DID work?
I got home and dropped the photos on my hard drive and moved on. I got back to the photos a couple of days ago. I wanted to send my friend some of the photos. As soon as I opened up the folder in Lightroom, a huge smile came across my face. Because it was such an unofficial shoot, there were tons of photos with funny faces and genuine laughter. The shots were gorgeous and I SAW the amazing beauty that emanates from this woman.
I sent the photos to her and she was very pleased, which made me feel even better.
Now I get what great photographers talk about when they talk about the connection between photographer and model. The images weren’t forced and I honestly had a tough time selecting a few images. There were SO many good ones and I didn’t snap a lot of shots.
Now I think back to the conversation I had with Larry after the shoot with Khrist where he told me to slow down. THIS is what it felt like. I spent time watching my friend. The camera didn’t come up until it was time to capture the photo. The rest of the time was spent laughing and connecting.
Lesson learned. I need to work on my people skills 🙂