The Blog

family portrait session . . .

I've talked about this before, but when you overlap business with friends, for me, it's INCREDIBLY stressful.  When I am shooting, if there are strangers involved, I want every shot I take to be magical, I swear.  I know it's impossible , but it's what I strive for.  However, when you shoot for friends, I want every photo to be unprecedented.   I had the pleasure of shooting some good friends a couple of weeks ago.  To make my job even easier, they ALL happen to be quite easy on the eyes.

I always recommend doing a shoot at a location that means something to the family, so we shot at St. Mary's College where most of them either attended, or got married.  Luckily, we live in California, because we picked a day (in February) where the day was gorgeous and the light was just glowing.  All that combined with bubbles and soccer balls made for a great shoot.  After delivering the photos, I hold my breath and hope that they all love the photos.  Because I'm always attached to an internet capable device at all times, I expect everyone else is.  So when I don't hear back for 20 minutes, I think. . . "oh no, they hate them!"  I'm horrible, I have to give them their money back, why am I doing this?".  Prior to this internal dialog, I was thinking. . ."there are some nice images here.  I'm pretty good at this".  Cut to : 40 minutes after I send the email.  "I need to sell my cameras!".  Then I see it. . . a bouncing notification that I have a new email.  Do I look at it?

Do I confirm how much they hate the photos , or maybe, I just ignore it and pretend I don't see it.   I've created a whole story already, why not write the ending I want ?  OK, I have to be professional and look at the email and deal with the consequences.  The first word I read is "absolutely", not "Hi Michael", not "the photos".  That's it. . my worst fears confirmed!  No sense in reading the rest right?  Well, I continue anyway.  The next word was again "absolutely".  OK, two absolutely's in a row?  "Wow is this bad" (inside my head).  Third word. . . yep, you guessed it. .. "absolutely".  Now I'm thinking "I don't know how I'm going to recover from this beating I'm about to take".

Next word :   "LOVE".

 Wait a minute!

OK, so maybe it didn't play out like I was fearing, but the feelings I had were genuine.

 In the end, I am thrilled that a client/friend is ecstatic with the final images.

Maybe I'll try and wait 1 hour next time before I start freaking out.

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by Michael Clemens