Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I forgot my WHAT?!?!

So, I have a story to tell. And it involves tattling on...myself. Yep, I made a major mistake, one I hadn't made in the 10 years I've been doing this photography thing. I thought it would be worth sharing because heaven knows we all make mistakes. It's in how you handle them that makes the difference.
This is me on May 19th, holding 4 cameras as I arrived to do a photo shoot for a wonderful family I'd photographed just two weeks earlier. (and once before about 3 years ago). Why would I be holding 4 cameras and doing a second shoot so soon after the first one? Well, it's because I FORGOT TO BRING MY CAMERA to our first shoot. Yep, you read that correctly. I showed up to the shoot with only 1 of the 2 main things I need to take pictures. So I broke the ice on round 2 when I arrived by doing this and we all got a good laugh (thankfully).

On May 6th, we arrived at Cantigny in Wheaton. I hadn't seen this family for several years. Their little boy had gotten so much bigger, the sweet girl had been in her mommy's tummy during our first session and there is now one more pending arrival. After tackling a few small challenges from the start (chillier weather than we expected and a button that popped off a top right as we left the cars) we headed out to the grounds to start the session. I reached into my bag and my heart, stomach and faced dropped. My camera was not in my bag. I checked 3 three times but nope, not there. I thought I would be potentially saved by the fact that I believed my back up camera was in my car so I quickly ran out there and lo and behold, it was! Perhaps I was in the clear. Nope again. The only memory card I had on me was a 4GB card. Generally, I use up about 8-16GB for family sessions. Holy crud. I know how and why I was missing the camera and the right memory cards but that's irrelevant as they weren't with me at the shoot and that's all that mattered.
I told the parents what the situation was. They were amazing, kept it in perspective in the grand scheme of things. After a bit of discussion, we decided to move forward, knowing I would just need to be more judicious when I took a shot. However, the challenge with that was when you photograph little kids who are in motion, you can't always plan every shot. We all agreed to see how it went. But, before we started, I made the parents promise if they weren't happy with what we captured, they had to tell me and I would do another session, free of charge. I know getting family photos done is an investment and they should not be shorted on great images because of my mistake. I also know that getting a family together for photos with clothing and timing and little people can be stressful so making them do it twice wasn't ideal either.
We did the session and it went well. It was stressful at the end because everyone knew I didn't have as much space as I needed on my memory card and there were still shots to capture. We finished up and I told them I would have photos for them to see ASAP. I went through the images that night and had a decent amount to show them but I was missing shots I know I would have wanted to include and didn't have enough of other moments.

Before the mom even saw the photos, she texted the next morning and said she was sure we had gotten some great shots but also had some concerns about things we missed and ideas we didn't get to. I said I totally understood and could we talk on the phone? She said yes, we talked for quite some time, agreed that a second shoot was the best idea and set up a date right away. I was so truly thankful that she was honest with me. I absolutely adore this family and would have been so sad to have them leave me, feeling unhappy or upset or feeling that the money they paid for family photos had been a waste, all because of a (still can't believe I did that) mistake that was my fault. So many times, I see nasty FB posts or terrible reviews because of mishaps or misunderstandings. It's amazing what can happen when we take responsibility for our mistakes and do what we need to in order to make things right. No one is perfect. We have to learn and move forward.

We got together again on May 19th and did a second session that I just loved. The kids are adorable and mom wore a dress this time to show off her beautiful, pregnant belly. Take a peek!

So, the moral of the story is...don't forget to bring your camera to a shoot if you are the photographer! Ha! Well, that and, when you mess up, own up to it. Talk to your clients. Fix the mistake. And be thankful for wonderful clients who are honest and kind and reasonable and realize that life happens. It's a partnership between the photographer and the clients, making it all work.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Into the Woods!

This year's Middle School musical is Into the Woods. Last night was their opening performance, after doing three shows on Monday for all the kids in school.  They've worked so hard and truly put on a fantastic show.  Hats off the to the entire cast, crew, directors and parents who pulled this production together!  And, I'm so proud of my "Jack"! Here's a peek into the show. If you'd like to see it live, you have one more change tomorrow on Thursday, March 23rd at 7pm!

Congratulations on a great performance!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Heather Headley at Metea Valley!

Every once in awhile, an opportunity comes along and if you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you'll get to join in the experience.  Our local high school has an amazing music and theater department. I'm so thankful that my kids will be attending Metea Valley High School!  They recently won a Grammy at the IMEA State Competition. With some of the money the school was awarded, they were able to bring in a bonafide Broadway star!  Heather Headley came to speak to the students at MVHS on January 31st.  What a thrill!  She was kind and funny and engaging and real.  As Metea is producing Aida for their Spring Musical this year, it was beyond special to have the woman who was the original Aida on Broadway come spend time with the kids, talk about her journey and share so many nuggets of wisdom.

I was so excited to be able to photograph this event, especially since I love theater photography, and to  be present to experience this incredible Master Class.  Additionally, my actor kid got to come along for the ride and I think I might have been most excited about that.  Here's a peek into what the day looked like!

After the chat was done in the choir room, with a Q&A, we all moved into the Black Box Theater where Heather did some theater exercise with the kid and worked with 3 students on their songs.

To finish out the event, the students performed a piece from Aida for Heather!

What an incredible day in the theater and I'm so thankful for this once in a lifetime experience!