Today, last year, I did my first “professional” photo shoot….ever. Mikia wanted to surprise her husband with a surprise shoot for his birthday. After the shoot it was my duty rush over to the restaurant where she had set up a surprise dinner for him with family and friends. If I can be completely honest for a second, I was nervous. Terrified. Unsure. Why would I feel such terrible feelings? Well, no one had ever entrusted me to do something that I had NEVER done before for them. This was HUGE! In my mind, anything and everything could go wrong. I felt so unprepared and all I could think was what if they didn’t like the photo’s and never wanted to hire me again?
The night before, I pulled up Youtube (University) and studied all that I could. I also made a Pinterest board inspired by photography and figured out cool shots to take. My best friend sent me text messages the day of encouraging me by telling me that everything would go fine and just to lean on Christ. Her words really helped to calm me down drastically.
Our shoot was set for 6:30 but I got there a little bit earlier to scope out the park and to see what I would be working with. Something I had learned via one of the YouTube videos lol. Jose’s face was filled with utter shock and excitement when he saw me walking towards him once they arrived at the park. It was honestly at that moment that I had peace in whatever way the photo-shoot went. If it went bad, then I needed to improve my craft. If it went good…I still needed to find ways to improve my craft lol.
Jose and Mikia were extremely patient with me as I figured out what to do and what not to do. Mikia was happy because I was killing time while I was happy that they were understanding. I shot the ENTIRE photo-shoot in automatic mode. I didn’t understand why I had to use my flash in some area’s of the park but not other area’s. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t able to blur my background but keep them focused. Through it all I refused to let my frustration show. It was at that moment that I realized that the art of photography is so much more than pressing a button.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from the park.
After the photo-shoot I took the quick way to the restaurant while Jose and Mikia took the long way to stall for time. I got there about 10 minutes before they did and we were able to get everyone seated so that he wouldn’t see anyone as he walked in. This portion of the shoot was my FAVORITE! In so many words, I felt as if the pressure was off and that I could relax and do the easy work. It was more relaxing to just follow him around getting photo’s of him and friends [with my flash in automatic mode :)] than it was posing them and making sure every shot I took came out great.
Once Jose arrived and Mikia walked him towards us, he was SUPER surprised! Even more so once he had found out that Mikia had flown his mother in from New York to take part in his special day.
The dinner was filled with games, laughter, yummy food and Mikia doing a happy dance during the singing of the Happy Birthday song.
The night ended with them taking photo’s with all of their guest as well as a couple photo’s outside of the restaurant.
This post is just an insight on the beginning of my journey. I can say that in no way have I become a master photographer since my first shoot, but I will say that through the help of Christ and other photographer friends, my work has improved. I still get nervous prior to photo-shoots and honestly I’m grateful that I do. Sounds crazy, right? I’m sure. However, I see it as a moment for me to be humble. It’s a time where I have to lean completely on God’s guidance. Also, knowing that I don’t know it all and am still learning has been a test within itself haha. But I’m so grateful for the journey and wouldn’t trade any of it.
I really appreciate the Troche’s going out on a limb last year and trusting me to fulfill such an amazing task. I had so much fun that night and I’m grateful to know such wonderful people outside of photography.
Happy Birthday, Jose! 🙂