Friday, April 26, 2013

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

by Stephanie

Unfortunately, my story is not about a wedding or a marriage, so I hope you will not be too disappointed. But like a wedding, I can promise you, it has a happy ending!

This handsome, young man, Brayson, is my husband’s cousin’s son, which I believe makes him my cousin-in-law, once removed. They are one of those quintessential Texas families with wonderful warmth, comfort and hospitality that I could soak up all day long! But I digress…..back to the story….

Brayson and his mom called me up a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would take his senior portraits. They know I enjoy photography and, being family, have seen the hundreds of photos of my children!  However, very quickly into our conversation I let them know that I have never taken senior portraits before. That didn’t seem to phase them and still wanted me to take on the job. I did agree, but after we hung up,  I have to admit, I had a little panic attack. My husband had to listen to me say things like, “I don’t know how to do this!” “What if they turn out horrible?” “I’ve never done this before!” “I don’t know the first thing about taking senior portraits!” And my husband, being the wonderful man he is, graciously talked me down off the ledge (yes....sometimes I tend to overreact). Once I was back down on solid ground and able to breathe again, I began my creative process…..thinking…..planning….thinking….and a little more planning.

Fast forward to the day of the photo shoot. It was gorgeous, warm and sunny. We met at 9:30am and headed to our destination. Because we were meeting near Brayson’s hometown, and I wasn’t familiar with the area, I had asked him and his mom to scout out a few places that would offer good scenery and a backdrop for the photo shoot. I had planned a lot of ideas in my head and on paper prior to our meeting, but wasn’t sure what to expect once I got there or how it would come together so I was definitely nervous. But it ended up working out just like the old wedding adage…..

Something old: Brayson’s dad is a firefighter and the station he works at let us use one of their old fire engines as prop. What an amazing piece of history!

Something new: I received an 85mm 1.8 lens for my birthday and this was the first time I had a chance to really use it. It produced some beautiful images!

Something borrowed: Before the photo shoot, I spent a lot of time browsing through images of senior portraits on line and on pinterest. I was able to gather quite a bit of inspiration this way!

Something blue: One of the areas we spent time shooting had a feed store with an amazing turquoise blue wall. It just so happened to match Brayson’s eyes and shirt he was wearing. Quite serendipitous (and it ended up producing some of my favorite shots)!

When I got home at the end of the day and uploaded all 235 photos, I was pleasantly surprised. They all turned out quite well. And, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience (although, it took me a little while to get used to the fact that I was working with a subject who actually did what I asked, when I asked and I didn’t have to bribe with quarters or candy)! But I have to say, the best outcome is the boost of confidence I received from seeing the final photos and realizing, "yes, I can do this!" 

I truly hope that you find our home here at FOL to be a place that encourages you to say "yes, I can do this," as you are pursuing your dreams, your hobbies, or even your everyday life! 


Carol said...

Congratulations Steph!! ( oh yeah, and congrats to Brayson too for graduating!) These are gorgeous portraits of a handsome man! Your backdrops are perfect for him. I disagree with one statement - it wasn't that lens that produced the shot. Dolly - that was YOU!
I was recently asked to shoot a friend's daughter's championship baketball game and had the same reaction - yikes! Speed, low light, poor access and a once in a lifetime game. When I climbed down from my ledge, I read up on settings, and white balance then I went an hour early and played while another game went on. Thankfully, I surprised myself also. Isn't there a great sense of accomplishment?Maybe we are at the stage where we don't know everything, but we know how to figure it out and shoot purposefully.
Again, congrats to you ' I'd hire you in a flash!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful pictures, Steph! Congratulations on stepping out in faith and doing it. You're an inspiration to me.

CarolHart said...

Stunning portraits Steph. Well done!

Dotti said...

Beautiful work, Stephanie! This is but one tiny step in realizing your dream. The jitters you felt are experienced by all of us and I think it's what spurs us on the meet the challenge ahead. You aced it! (I recently got that same lens and love it!)

Anonymous said...

Way to go Stephanie! Totally knew you could do it! Great shots - as always. Jeanine LeRoy aka Pamela Shaw

Linda said...

These are great shots! Isn't it nice to have a little cooperation from your model? lol! Oh, yet another lens to add to my wish list!

heyjudephotography said...

Super images Stephanie. I've been struck with that "am I really good enough,can I do this right?" feeling too. You pulled through beautifully, and it had nothing to do with that lens. It was you. Loved your comment about not having to do your usual bribes to get cooperation!

terriporter said...

I think we all have that feeling when we step out of our comfort zone and try something new. But when we find out that we CAN do it, it's so rewarding! Yes, having a cooperative (and handsome!) model and the right lens does help, it's really all about who's behind the camera. These are shots anyone would be proud of! Thanks for the encouragement to have the courage to try something we haven't done before. It's the best way to grow!

Barbara said...

You did a fabulous job, Stephanie! Just love how you captured him. Great backgrounds and poses. Isn't that 85mm a wonder for portraits? One of my favorites!

Barbara said...

Forgot one thing. These portraits will be so treasured by his family both present and future. Well done!

kelly said...

these portraits came out beautifully steph! his family will cherish them forever. congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone too...such a nice feeling to know that i'm not the only one who struggles with that. :)

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