We all know how important it is to be knowledgable in any profession. Some people will try to fake it until they make but that’s not always successful. There have been a few sessions where things didn’t go exactly how I had planned them but because I knew what I was doing, I was able to succeed. As I’m sure you know, not all sessions are perfect. Why is that? Because I’m not perfect, nor are my subjects perfect. My job is to make them look that way. In addition to that, not all my sessions have gone the way I’ve wanted them to. There are varied reasons as to why that happened but regardless, I was always able to get some salvageable images from each session, Heck, sometimes I look back at some of my really old sessions and cringe. Then I realize that was a good thing. If I looked at my old work and thought it was comparable to my most recent work that would not be good. That would mean that I haven’t experienced any growth in my photography which I hope never happens. I always want to be improving on my craft and exceeding my clients’ expectations.
To illustrate my point about how important knowledge is, let’s look at a session I did in 2012. I received a call from a potential client who found me in the YellowPages. The printed YellowPages, not online. I think this may have been before I started doing online consultations. Anyway, this businessman wanted me to take portraits of his family visiting from out of the country at his home and what a wonderful home it was. Anyway, I brought all of the equipment I needed to do the job and set up for the portraits. The first set was to be done on the back balcony. I plugged my light up, metered, gathered, and posed my subjects. Since there were cousins, aunts, and grandparents in the mix, I had to do multiple groupings. Here are just a couple:
A few times I had to catch my light because the umbrella kept catching the breeze and started to fall over. This was in the days before I had sandbags to hold the light down. Listen, I was mainly an indoor photographer so breezes were never my concern. We live and we learn and I ended up purchasing some later. Anyway, this one particular time I wasn’t fast enough and my light came crashing down and the bulb smashed into a thousand pieces. Not only was that embarrassing but it made me sick to my stomach because no photographer likes to see their equipment damaged and I no longer had a light to use. They were nice enough to help me clean up the smash bulb but I didn’t have a replacement and I still had more portraits to shoot.
We moved inside, where the light was even less abundant than on the balcony. I knew I had to make this work. How could I call myself a professional photographer if I couldn’t continue the session because of a broken light? Since I know how my camera works, as well as how to light my subjects I opened the curtains, metered the available light, used my tripod, and set my camera settings. Below are just two of the images that I captured.
Like I said, these images were taken back in 2012 and I believe I’ve had some growth since then. Regardless of that, the images are still well lit. The funny thing was I didn’t want to set my ISO too high because the camera I was using would have caused too much grain in the images. I also have a different camera now too. So, I had to set a really slow shutter speed. I believe it was 1/13 of a second. They may not seem slow but in photography, it definitely is. It still got the job done and my client was very happy with the images. As long as my client is happy, I’m happy. I do have other stories about sessions that didn’t go the way I had planned but perhaps I’ll share those for another time. The takeaway is, things don’t have to actually be perfect to come out looking perfect.
“If knowledge is not put into practice, it does not benefit anyone.” ~ Muhammed Tahir-ul-Qadri