Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pro Gig - Lessons Learned

This weekend, I enjoyed the good fortune of snapping photos for my first ever professional job. I feared that I would be nervous - I'm the nervous type - until my mom reminded me that I take photos in this venue all the time. The job was to photograph a party --- an anniversary party to be exact. But the concept of party photography I have done countless times. Mostly at school. Of children familiar with my lens in their face and in love with hamming it up for me. But still, successfully!

Once I realized the similarity, I took a deep breath and convinced myself not to be so nervous!

I asked to see the location prior to the event. Pretty smart on my part, I thought. I wanted to check out lighting (any northern-exposed windows for natural light?) primarily, but it was also good to know where the festivities would take place.

In hindsight, I wish I'd been more direct about encouraging natural light. Or at the very least be more direct about posing photos in front of that northern exposed window. In fact, next time I think I'll be more direct, period. I tried to be a sort of candid fly on the wall - staying in the background (yeah right, as my camera went clickety clickety click!!!). But, and as I peruse the photos, I wish I'd asked the anniversary couple to tilt their heads together. To give me a smile...In reality, the pictures I took of the happy duo appear quite American Gothic. Which, of course, has it's own artistic intrigue. Yet, not necessarily the charming look I was going for.

I also asked what specific shots the hostess desired. I think I covered this concept successfully. I took candid and posed photos - I captured some sweet moments of a mama and her boys kissing her sweet face. (Daddy's in Iraq, so I want those to be smashingly good!) I snapped countless photos of hands (I love hands!) - particularly one that I adore where the couple's granddaughter (fuzzy in the background) held out a seashell (in focus) --- I love this look! Who knows if they'll like it, but I went for the traditional - and what was requested of me - and the less traditional --- what I've seen in books and online that I think make intriguing images.

The reality is, I spend quite a bit of my night time looking at images online of photographs/photographers I admire. I peruse books, looking for the angles I like that I hadn't previously considered. And I have a LOT to learn.

I'm frustrated by the photography learning curve. I suppose if it were easy, however, everyone would be doing it...much like a marathon, as BigDaddy would relate. {I finished running 17 miles just 45 minutes before the start of my ProGig! HELLO!}

Still, I am grateful for the opportunity to practice. For a first timer, I learned some things. I'll keep practicing. And that's what will help make me better at this li'l hobby of mine.
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