- RECENT EVENTS, TIPS, AND OTHER GOODIES -
April 8, 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!
Day 6 is dedicated to the life of any party- Andre Dalton of Aviid Photography!! Andre encourages anyone that knows him to go on a Living Spree! When I sent him a text message a little over a week ago he was in Paris posting selfies of himself in front of the Eiffel Tower…and he still responded!!! Who knows where he is today! Gosh, besides that I don’t even know where else to begin with this guy. We met several years ago and since then Andre has poured so much into me that I can’t begin to thank him enough. If you ever see us together on a shoot and we call each other “jerks”, don’t worry that’s just our term of endearment for one another!! In the photo above, Andre had invited me to one of his weddings to shoot and to see the flow of weddings and how he handles the uncertainties of the day. He was the first to allow me to second shoot with him at several weddings, which has allowed me to grow and be comfortable shooting my own weddings. Thank you Dre!
I also have Andre to thank for the random mannequin that is hanging out in my garage. Andre showed me how he uses his mannequin to practice different lighting techniques so that he is prepared when a client is present. Andre had an extra mannequin (don’t ask me why) and just gave it to me one day! It was interesting driving down I-95 with that thing in the car! I not only practice shooting with my mannequin but I also freak out my guests when they come over and happen to enter my garage! But that’s not where Dre’s generosity ends, he would probably not want me to share this story but I will any way. One Friday after work several years ago, I drove to the local camera store because I was having issues with my camera. It was still under warranty and the only way that I could get it repaired was to send it to Nikon, which meant a 6 WEEK wait until it returned. I was stuck. I couldn’t figure out what to do. I’d been planning to purchase another model but wasn’t prepared to do it that day! I had a weekend full of shoots starting the following morning and I debated for about 30 minutes on if I could get thru my shoots with a stuck shutter. I didn’t want to disappoint my clients, so I knew I couldn’t take that chance. I was testing the new dream camera but I wasn’t ready to buy. The store’s closest rental department was another 40 minutes away and would be closed before I could get there and I wouldn’t have time to get there the next morning before my shoot. I stood there leaning on the glass case with my hand on my head staring at my semi-broken camera, which sat right beside the new shiny camera with all the bells and whistles and I even think the new camera whispered “buy me, Terri”. I told the store personnel that I needed a minute to think and I just stayed with my head in my hands thinking about what I should do. The next thing I know, Andre walks into the camera store with his motorcycle helmet in hand to pick up a print order for his client. In usual Andre fashion he says “what’s up man” in his fast animated voice and in the very next breath he says “what happened, you look like you’re about to cry”. For the record, I wasn’t about to cry, I was just in deep thought. I told him what was going on and he looked at my sad semi-broken camera and says “just send it back to Nikon” so matter of fact. Once I told him about my weekend shooting schedule, he says “just get the new camera” almost as if I was ordering from the Dollar Menu versus preparing to spend what this camera cost. I told him that I couldn’t get it yet. He says “man, get the camera and let’s go eat”. He throws his card on the counter and tells the store employee how much to put on it and asks if I was able to pay the difference. I said “yes, but you’re not serious”. Oh, he was serious, I paid the difference and we went and grabbed something to eat. Crazy! All during dinner he laughed and joked about how I was about to cry and he imitated how I looked when he walked into the store. All I could do was laugh and smile because my brand new camera sat beside me as we ate dinner. It’s crazy to me that someone outside of my family would invest in me that way and it’s just rare to meet someone that isn’t looking for something in return. Andre is a true friend and I am so thankful that God allowed us to meet.
Andre has been there countless times to offer photography advice, answer my questions, compliment my growth and he is usually the first person I will refer clients to if I am unavailable. Dre, dude you have poured so much knowledge into me and offered me so much help with technique that I can’t begin to thank you enough!! I hope to one day be able to repay you for everything you’ve done! If I ever hit the lottery, you will get the first $20 of my winnings!!! lol
Thank you for the countless times you’ve helped! Thank you for being a great friend and mentor on this journey!
Photo Credit: Andra Dalton – Aviid Photography