- RECENT EVENTS, TIPS, AND OTHER GOODIES -
April 3, 2014
April 1st began a series that will allow me to be transparent about the people that have influenced my personal and professional growth. When I look at where I have achieved success, I can honestly say that I never did it alone. There was always someone there that believed in me, motivated me, encouraged me, or pushed me to continue. This series is dedicated to those people!
Okay, okay, okay! Before my brides cancel their weddings when they see these photos, please note Day 3 is dedicated to Henry and Keisha Smith- MY VERY FIRST PAYING CLIENTS! Ahhh, that explains it!
Keisha and I attended the same high school in Greensboro, NC and while I have lived in 6 different states, our address landed us 30 minutes away from one another. I attended their wedding one of the first weekends after I moved from Los Angeles to Virginia and I was quickly reminded of why I left palm trees and 70 degree weather- it was to be closer to home and people that I knew. I was just starting to learn to use my brand new Nikon D60 camera when I found out that Keisha and Quad were expecting their first child. My dad had just bought me a studio lighting kit – which included a couple of backdrops, 3 lights and some light stands. For the record, I have since upgraded my camera and I no longer shoot studio work on a regular basis because I feel more creative outdoors and on-location.
Keisha and Quad agreed to let me take their maternity photos and were so patient as I learned studio lighting on the spot with them! I had been researching lighting online prior to them coming to my house but it’s so different to have people standing in front of you while you are trying to get it right. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck, but I kept smiling. I think that “fake it until you make it” phrase was running through my head for those few hours and as I went thruough and edited their pictures, I remember thinking, hmmm, it could have been worse. Ummm yeah, so as I look back at those photos, I cringe but I also realize that I’ve come a long way! I also know that I still have goals that I am trying to reach in 2014 and I love the growth process.
I guess it wasn’t too bad of an experience for them because Keisha allowed me to take photos at her baby shower, her aunt’s birthday party and they even came back for their Christmas photos and I was even compensated plus a tip!
Keisha and Quad just gave birth to their second son and Keisha asked me about taking their photos! I can’t wait to compare the photos now to the ones back then. Unfortunately, I don’t actively offer baby photos to new clients anymore because my focus is on couples, weddings and engagements, but for the couple that was my first, I will definitely bend my own rules.
Any new photographer should find friends and family that will allow them to practice as much as possible and make the mistakes with them prior to trying to gain a clientele. Quad and Keisha, thank you for your friendship, thank you for allowing me to get my start with you two, and although we don’t talk every day, thank you for believing in me enough to stand in my garage while I moved the lights around, changed camera settings and tried to figure things out! I hope that any new photographer out there can find a “Quad and Keisha” that will love on them early on in their journey! Love you guys! See you soon!