One of the things I love about being in this field or in general, is networking, forming connections with persons in varying professions and even nationalities. Being at a Caribbean institution helps with this and that is how this shoot came about.
Having done the photo shoot with the Ladies of Phoenix (which was also a referral) someone saw the photos and asked the head Phoenix for my contacts. Technology has changed the way everything is done,even business and so when Lady Phoenix gave the lady my number and she contacted me via Whatsapp. This enabled me to have a documented reference for what she wanted her particular shoot to be. Phoenix was 10 ladies but thankfully this time I had a heads up that this would be approximately 16. Posing 16 strangers after 5 with the setting sun was going to be a challenge, but the challenge is what sets each job apart as well as improves my skill set.I had recently gotten my contract finalized and email account sorted out, so once we had reached an agreement, I sent the electronic version for the lady who filled it in and sent it back as we finalized the date and specifics. I approach each shoot with no pre-conceived outcomes just the expectation of excellence and a satisfied client.
When I woke up the day of the shoot, my first thought was “Oh no!” because I did not feel well in the least! However I dragged out of bed, hoping for the best and went to work. My nausea continued throughout the day and all I wanted to do was to curl up in my bed, but I had comitted myself to this job and so I sucked it up. Leaving work at 4:32 the traffic was tight but I managed to reach campus by 5:10, dawned my shades and fedora (I usually wear a fedora at each shoot as my signature and simply because I love Fedoras) got in my photographer mode and tried as best to ignore the overwhelming feeling of nausea to the point of faintness. For the second time I had no idea what the client looked like so the person that greeted me at the gate, I assumed was her but soon found out after introduction that it wasn’t. These ladies symbol was the Tanzanite gem and so I’ll dub them the Tanzanite Ladies for the purposes of this blog. It turned out to be 13 enthusiastic, creative ladies all dressed in the colors of the gemstone that symbolized them – blue and p urple.
The fact that majority of them already had a vision for what they wanted their individual shot to look like made my job much easier since I could barely stand up far less think straight to pose them. However I smiled broadly, spoke as strongly as my voice and body would allow and it seemed to work since they didn’t recognize I was sick. 1 hour turned into two but if I were well it would have been an absolute blast! I still enjoyed it nonetheless and it helped ease my mind off the pain as I worked with each lady to make their vision for their pose come to life. Their warm and bubbly personalities really helped make it all worth it and I was glad I made the sacrifice though my body was cursing me. Most of the shots were taken in an area with stairs and I could have cried since this meant constant ascent and descent but again, focusing on the client and not myself, I pulled through and managed to enjoy the moment. When I saw how the shots were coming out though, this gave me some momentum.
The sun went down as I had anticipated but thankfully the bulk of the photos were done before this which only left about 5 to be done in the dark and my speed-light really came in handy. The only challenge was that in the pitch black of some areas, it was extremely difficult to get the camera to focus and when it did take the photo, for it not to be a blur. This I am still in the process of mastering but for the present time, I managed to pull it off.
Around 7:30 I turned off my camera having concluded the shoot and I had finally gotten my business cards printed that same day, so as I was leaving, I gave it to Lady Tanzanite so she was the first client to receive my card.
This shoot in particular really helped me grow as a photographer because I have never been sick when I had to do a shoot and so this added yet another spectrum to my experience. In this job and with any job, you have to always bring your A game whether you are feeling it or not, the saying “fake it til you make it” comes into play and I sure had to do that to pull off the evening….When I feel better I will do the editing because that requires me being at my best. This reminds me of one of the points in my disclaimer which gives a 3 week maximum time for delivery of photos and though I am sure they will be delivered before then, it is important to put in such clauses to protect yourself.
The most rewarding part of this shoot was having yet another happy client when they received the photos….. L’Fedora is really meeting some powerful women, first Phoenix and now Tanzanite, the future of the Caribbean looks bright!