Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Portraits (A Thank You.)

So, this is my second year doing Kids 'R' Kids Spring Portraits.  I'm completely amped for it!  It's been about a month's worth of planning and work to get ready for this moment.  I'm miles better at photography and running a business and can't wait to see the hard work pay off!

A few things of note.  I've got to be the luckiest guy in the World.  I have two jobs that I absolutely love, I have great friends and support, and I'm just happy.  I don't think I had that last year.  A lot of this is brought on from my business.  It's my dream job and there were many, many times last year when I had doubts whether it would pan out.  You just got to ignore the negative voices in your head and these past few weeks I've really been witnessing it all come together.  It no longer seems like this is what I want to do, but what I'm supposed to do.  I see the light at the end of tunnel.  It still hits me at an emotional level to see how far I've progressed this past year as not only a photographer, but a person.

Last year, this was my first major opportunity.  This year's version of Spring Portraits is far and beyond last year's.  I'm not saying I did a bad job with last year's (absolutely not,) but this year's is going to blow it out of the water.  I'm beyond excited and can't wait for the morning to get here!  I do set ridiculously high standards and expectations for myself, but this year, they are within reach and not just a dream.

So, I'm not sure if anybody reads these, don't care, but I enjoy writing and treat this as more of letters to myself.  But, if you are reading this, than this portion is directed towards you.  First and foremost, thank you.  Thank you for the opportunities, encouragement, and support.  You have no idea, but there are times when it has come at the perfect time when I'm down on myself.  Last year's Spring Portraits I blew out my calf midway through and was out of commission for a few weeks.  It was painful, I couldn't walk, but what got to me the worst was not being able to complete the job on time.  Yeah, injuries have always made me depressed, but this one was different.  The days would pass, the pressure would build and after a couple weeks I just wanted to stop.  I got so much support during that time and it really meant a lot.  You kept pushing me on, encouraging me, and it was unreal how compassionate some people are.  That was the start to my future career.

I've really enjoyed every second of every shoot.  It's an adventure.  My first shoot I dropped a flash down two flights of stairs.  That same flash is still in use today and works like new.  Two of my first three Fall shoots we've set off security alarms and met the cops by leaning on doors, message received.  I've had disgustingly bad food on some shoots, its now a tradition.  I've had to learn how to shoot photos in every condition imaginable from the great outdoors, to the great indoors, to on the road, to a 15x15 storage unit filled with instruments and a bad with really crappy light and to inside bouncy castles (that one.)  It's forced me to think on my feet and I've had to figure out how to shoot it.  Thanks for the opportunity.  I've been forced to work under extreme time restraints. 100 degree days, and high pressure.  I love the challenge and work best that way.  I've had some shoots that last couple of hours to some that last the entire day.  And when everyone goes their separate ways I get to spend hours upon hours sorting through and editing photographs of people that have become more than just clients, but people that I hold dear in my heart.  I'm the first to view the memories of the day and it's special.  I've had times where nothing happens and times where I'm putting in 100 hour weeks between my two jobs.  I've had to learn how to design a website, work social media, and do paperwork and financial spread sheets.  Stuff that I didn't want to do, nor have any desire to doing, but am better off for it.  It's all worth it.  Every time I've handed someone an image and see a smile and the eyes brighten, it reminds me of why I do this.  I can't explain that feeling, but it's got to be one of the greatest feelings in the World.  It's not to become famous and certainly not for the money, but to give you something to look back on.

I'm thankful for the ups and the downs.  So to you.  Thank you for this opportunity to capture the moments in your life.  It's more than I could ask for.

At 7:00 AM, I'll be up and ready.  I've got 3-1/2 hours with each classroom instead of 45 minutes, or more than enough time to try different things.  I'm starting out with the infant room, which is still pretty new to me.  I'm ready.


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