The beauty of photography, is that each shoot is different, each client or clients come with their own unique personality and characteristics so it is always an adventure. Complexity is also a mantra accompanying the job but the degree or effect it has on the outcome, rests solely on me the photographer so I must ALWAYS be prepared.
This shoot in particular held its own originality because for starters this was my first indoor shoot, sure I have done plenty of family shoots at home but these were all casual and very informal. I would not lie, I was nervous, in fact I was nervous right up to when I pulled up to the house and turned off the engine.
I had never been to the home prior, nor had I met most of the family members I was to shoot, I only knew the mother. However I went into my zone as “Myss Fedora” and repeated the encouragement of RJ and my other confidant – “God gave me this job, so He will bring me through”!
A bit of background….
It was a Sunday so I left straight from church and dragged my sister with me for support (though she told me she felt more like a pebble than the rock I was counting on her to be). The weather was absolutely dreadful the day before, with immense flooding, wind and heavy rains for 24 hours so I was preparing to postpone but the Sunday when I got up, the sun was in abundance. There were some signs of the weather the day prior but surprisingly all around was drying up fast. It was my grandmother’s birthday (which I sadly forgot when I confirmed the date of the booking) so I moved up the shoot an hour early.
The client approached me having learnt that I had recently launched L’Fedora Photos and I was all confident until she told me the photographer who usually did her family photos. This photographer was one of those I looked up to an admired in the field so for her to put me in that same category was flattering but equally frightening because I had massive shoes to fill! I am still building my camera bag and so my equipment is still very basic but one thing I have learnt, is that it is not the camera but the skill of the photographer and so I practiced, I did research, I planned the entire shoot in my head mentally, made my notes and most of all PRAYED!
One thing I hate, is to be late, I regard it as one of the highest forms of disrespect so once I set a time, especially in business I try to get there at least five minutes before that. Thankfully the directions were straight forward and so we arrived half an hour early which gave me an edge since they were now getting ready and so I was able to set up and get a feel of the area and match it with my vision so that by the time they were ready, so was I! Some people shy away from Photoshop but this client embraced it, especially for the backdrop of the shots. The hour went by pretty fast which goes perfectly with the saying that time flies when you’re having fun and with each click of the shutter my heartbeat regularized so by the end of the shoot my nerves had fully subsided.
It was indeed a wonderful experience getting to know the family through the photos because it is true that a photo tells a thousand words and I sure did learn a lot from each shot.
I am my biggest critic and often we tend to be, but this experience has now furthered me as a photographer, especially when it came to the setting up because this was the first time I used my backdrop and stands. Additionally when it came to post-process editing I learnt a few new techniques and we ought to always to growing and becoming a better version of ourselves for the day we cease to want to learn more or become better is the day we stop living.
Below is a snapshot of the final result.