This industry continues to blow me away. I am a photographer by profession because I love capturing the immense love and beauty that exists in our world. Having, in addition, incredible people that exist to support and teach and give and give and give simply humbles me. I only hope I can be 1/2 the person so many of these artists I esteem are. There’s just something so refreshing and freeing and downright beautiful about being a part of a movement. A movement where we photograph life and we get paid and we provide for our families and we give our hearts a place to beat freely. It’s really just too good, isn’t it?
Here are some bits & pieces of what I took away during my time in Vegas.
- Always do a pre-shoot walk through. (This is the same thing Amy Wenzel told me last year and it totally changed the way I prepare for shoots. I will never forget Amy saying, “If you show up and the shoot struggles because of a poor location it’s your fault.)
- In full sun keep the sun at your subject’s back. Then use natural reflectors (white walls, light sidewalks, white shirt, etc.) to bounce some of that light back at them.
(It’s true. She is as kind and gracious in real life as you would imagine her to be. I loved getting to meet her and chat about nothing in particular at Becker’s party. She’s so kind she even sent me an email this past week telling me she loved my website. I considered flying to Southern Cal to give her a wet kiss on the lips!)
- “Helping others goes a long way.” (I will never forget her saying this.)
- “Let’s use social networking not to be served, but to serve others.”
(If she was edible, I’d eat her. Totally fabulous.)
- Use siblings to help you conduct a shoot. Have them sit next to you when you are shooting one child alone. This will help the child (especially if they are shy) to feel more comfortable with you.
- Anticipate the moment and be ready for it.
- Curiosity trumps fear with children.
- Give a child responsibility to direct a shot. Ask for their help. Involving them builds rapport.
Jesh de Rox:
(As we sat on the front row waiting for Jesh to start what I knew would be an amazing talk, my sister texted me: Are you in Vegas? * Yes! AND, I’m sitting in Jesh de Rox’s class, front row! * She quickly texted back: Don’t get a headache from batting your eyes too much. * She knows me so well. I left with a migraine, vertigo and a totally, 100% altered view on why I do what I do. Literally my passions were doused with lighter fluid and set on fire.)
- If a client looks tense/fake in a photo it’s my fault and my responsibility to help them live in the moment.
- Every time someone hires Jesh to take their photo he reads that as if they are saying, “Tell me who I am.” And, then he shows them with photos that are genuine and real.
- “My life is so precious – every single moment – I deserve to do something that is damn well fulfilling.”
- “People always say it seems I only shoot beautiful people. We are all beautiful. All 6 billion of us (with tears forming in his eyes). If we can only see past our emails, our stuff, our schedules, ourselves to just see it.”
- “95% of things that hurt us are misunderstandings.”
- What a gift it is to not just look at each other, but to see each other.
- “The difference between fake and genuine pictures is the ability to simply remove what’s in the way.”
- “Why do we settle for “okay” in our lives? Why not strive for awesome?”
- 3.5 billion dollars is spent every year in the wedding industry. This might seem like a lot until you compare it to the amount spent on failed marriages: 28 billion. Documenting people’s love … helping them to see what’s right in front of them is invaluable.
**If any of you are on the hunt for a workshop I would highly suggest his. If my life was changed in the 2 hours & 45 minutes I sat in front of him I cannot imagine what would happen spending 3 days with him.
Amber was the lucky winner of Courtney DeLaura’s Get Schooled guide when she gave one away over at MCP’s blog. She is now testing out the world of school photos and I think she is going to be absolutely brilliant at it! Part of the guide is a book you put together for kids to read before picture day. Inside you put pictures of yourself. We thought these pictures would be just perfect. How can kids not love these faces!?
And, sweet Kelly …
hoping today is a lovely one,