January 20, 2018
Wow, Can’t believe I am actually going to write a blog….But here goes the very first one!
I am going to tell you all the story about how I began to transition from a hobby photographer to having my own business and what it means to me. In the fall of 2016, my good friends Brandi and John were getting engaged and they didn’t have a big budget (this will sound super familiar to other photographers) . So they approached me, hey you do a great job with the dog photos, why don’t you take our “Save the Date” photo for us. Sure, not a problem, would be glad to! Next, ok we loved those, how about photographing our wedding?! Wait, what?? Going from ringside amateur dog show photographer to full blown wedding photography, now that’s a giant leap. After some coercion, some humming and hawing on my part, I reluctantly agreed, then immediately panicked inside- WHAT HAVE I DONE???
But I had a few months to cram my brain with every tutorial and lesson on shooting a wedding, and had a plan of attack. Along the way, the idea of actually doing this as a business began to kinda sound interesting. At New Years, last year, one of these lessons led to a guided 52 week project/new year’s resolution to stretch your limits….seemed like fun, just for the record, I didn’t make it past January, probably because I called it a “resolution” and well, that just seems to be the kiss of death for me.
So around about the third week photo challenge was to take a photo inspired by Richard Avedon. For non photogs, he is a famous fashion and celebrity photographer from the 20th century whose black and white photos were usually pretty gritty and raw. (Interesting sidenote, he died in San Antonio while on assignment, WTG SA:/) Here are a few examples of his work and what I needed to emulate on that January weekend a year ago.
So January 20th is my Dad’s birthday and I went back home to spend the day with him to celebrate. And, of course, I had not done my Richard Avedon-esque photo yet (what? Procrastinate, me no!! Hahaha). So I am looking around trying to figure out how to get this done, and I ended up talking my dad into modeling for me. Truth be told, he would probably do whatever I asked for any of my many cockamamie ideas, I love him for that. I turned off the kitchen lights in our dark cabineted kitchen of my childhood home and took a couple of quick snaps of him peering out a window ( a la great window light) at the creek that is THE reason him and my mom love this house so much- and voila! My Richard Avedon project was in the books! Sweet!
So I posted my photo in my photography group, got some good reviews on it….but it ended up being so much more to me than this one photo. I have since framed and enlarged it in my house. In my mind, it truly represents exactly the person that I think of when I “mentally” see my Dad in my head. And honestly, I can’t walk past it without tearing up and getting a lump in my throat every single time. I had learned the power of one single photograph of a loved one almost by accident. I wish I could say I planned the whole thing, but that wouldn’t be true for my fledgling photog self…..but now I know when I am shooting what the end goal should look- and more importantly FEEL like. So now, if I ask my clients lots of questions, I swear I am not just being nosy, I want to know the people in the photos and how you guys feel about each other so I can capture that mental image for you too.
That was a year ago today, and I’d like to wish my Dad a very happy birthday. Love you the most.