I had my first official photo session yesterday, and I got paid for it.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm apparently incapable of going at anything at less than the speed of obsession. Seriously, who knows if I'll end up being a whole lot of good at this photography thing, but damned if I'm not gonna know every nook and cranny of it eventually. At least in theory--putting theory into practice is a different animal all together.
I put it out into Facebook land a few weeks ago that I needed guinea pigs. You know, the hapless, furry and defenseless little creatures previously used for lab experiments before PETA got all huffy?
Yeah, those. (DISCLAIMER: I LOVE GUINEA PIGS. PLEASE DON'T THROW PAINT AT ME, PETA).
Anyway, it seems that people are perfectly willing to be hapless guinea pigs, if the price for being such is free. I was flabbergasted, really. Facebook comments and messages started coming in from people I barely remembered I knew, and I was all, "Are you sure? I mean, I'm new at this. And by 'I'm new' I mean 'Please don't get made at me if I screw up your pictures, K?'"
And then the people that said they wanted me to take pictures for them actually scheduled sessions with me.
I kinda thought they were bluffing, really.
So the first session was "booked" and as soon as I got over the giddiness of "booking" and me in the same sentence, I was all Joe Photographer. Seriously, I went out there with my bag, and my light stand, and my off camera strobes...and then as soon as the guy showed up, I promptly forgot how to use all of the things.
All of them. Except the point and shoot camera-thingee, so we actually ended up getting some pretty good photos. Even if I did try to blind the poor guy with my reflector at one point.
Oh well, I'm sure his LinkedIn profile is very GQ, now. Plus, there was last minute Mexican food afterward with a friend/stuff holder, so: WIN!
Then came the magical engagement session. Well, "engagement session" is probably a bit glorified, since it was initially booked as a regular I'll-stand-still-and-let-you-take-my-picture session, but then the girl got engaged, so then it turned into a I'm-so-excited-about-my-new-ring session.
I planned, I Pinterest-ed, I packed a (little) lighter for this one...and forgot to check the weather. So we ended up eventually arriving on location (which, incidentally, have I mentioned that I have no sense of direction? Apparently this is important for finding the locations you would like to use for shoots), shortly before a monster lightning storm. As in, I looked up at one point, and this chick's hair was standing literally straight on end.
At which point we decided that Hey, maybe we can take shots of the ring INDOORS!
Which we did. And I got some hella nice macro shots out of it.
So if I were to tell you at the beginning of this week that I had one adult male who acts like he's been modeling all his life, one up-for-anything adult female with an exciting recent life event, and a family of five, including three kids under ten, one of which was a baby lined up...which of these would you have said were going to go down the proverbial drain?
Yeah, I had pretty much guessed the kids, too.
But wait, there's more!
This wasn't just any family, folks. These were some of the most laid back parents ever, and the cutest and most cooperative kids--together in one absolutely beautiful location.
I'm almost kinda mad at them now, because really, they're setting me up for failure on my next session. It's not at all reasonable to expect that kind of experience to ever happen again.
They were cute. They mugged. They stood still when I asked them to, Glory to God.
What the hell? My own kids don't do that. Ever.
(Okay, fine. The cuteness and the mugging happen from time to time. Mostly when other people are looking.)
Anyway--I had fun, the family had fun, I [mostly] remembered how to work my camera, and the dad insisted on paying me for what I had offered as a free, experience-building session, just based on what he saw on my camera's LCD screen. And I've got at least one referral already lined up from them, and the dad wants my card to pass around.
I DON'T EVEN HAVE CARDS, Y'ALL.
What I do have now, however, is a logo. A logo created with excruciatingly poor Photoshop skills, while brainstorming with a friend over Facebook, and in between editing photos in Lightroom.
It looks like I'm totally good at this, right?
I sure hope so, at least, because in the next two weeks, I've got one [thankfully small and informal] wedding to second-shoot, one special-needs water-park/luau event (How the hell does one shoot a water-themed luau? Anyone?), and a horse-therapy center that is supposed to call or email at any time regarding some pro-bono promotional shots.
See? Full throttle, that's me.
The eventual goal is to get proficient enough to actually do this, and do it well--making my services (such as they may ever be) available to special needs families and organizations as much as possible. Every time I am able to take a photo of Little C in which he makes good eye contact, or engages the camera with a smile, I am ever so grateful that I have picked up this camera. Until I did, I hadn't gotten a frame-able shot since before we took him into a studio when he was around eighteen months old. I can still remember the paint-peeling screams coming out of him at the pop of the strobes, the panic at the attention of the camera-man. I remember tiny toddler hands clenched so hard to his ears that they were bright red when I tried to pull them away.
The thought of overwhelmed kids in crowded studios, and sad parents with empty picture frames depresses me. More than that, though, it motivates me.
So. Bayou Rose Photography for the win, K?
PS- I am Cydley99 on Flickr. Also, the new Flickr is awesome. Follow me? Please?
PPS- I will [hopefully soon] have a Facebook business page. As soon as Facebook stops being an @sshole, anyway, because apparently they think I'm doing something shady and won't let me create a page right now.
STOP BEING AN @SSHOLE, FACEBOOK.
Anyway, follow me at Bayou Rose Photography, eventually? Please?
PPPS - Given all of the social media mentions in these post scripts, I feel obligated to inform you that I am Cydley on Instagram, although I should probably also warn you that I am extremely boring. And, I'm not sure that I understand filters. Or hash tags. Or Instagram.
There. I'm done.