Have to start somewhere

I know i've only been doing paid shoots for a little over a year, and in all honesty I don't have a huge amount of photo shoots to highlight in a blog. But I thought it would be fun to show you some of the photo shoots that I feel have helped me grow the most into the photographer I am today. And what better place to start than the beginning. 

Now, I have to ask you all for a couple of favors... A) Don't laugh and B) Don't judge me based on the couple of pictures i'm going to show you here in this post.

So a little set-up first. If you've read my first post you know that Jen and I bought our dSLR in the fall of 2010. During the first year with the camera I had learned a lot and I was feeling pretty comfortable. I was still shooting with the stock lens (Nikkor 18-55mm) but was doing just fine with it because most everything I had shot was outdoors. Cubs game, camping, disc golfing , brother-in-laws little league game. 

If I haven't mentioned it before, I have the greatest and most generous friends on this planet. Ryan and Patti welcomed their first born in the summer of 2011 and knowing I was obsessed with photography they asked if I would be interested in taking pictures of Arianna. At this point the thought of becoming a photographer and actually making money off of it were no where in my head. This was simply something fun to photograph and i'd be able to provide good friends of mine with great pictures of their little one. Little did we both know I had a lot to learn.

Bright Flash = Bad Picture

As most photographers will tell you, photographing inside a building with very little window light, a stock lens, and no artificial light sources other than your stock on-camera flash  is nearly impossible. I underestimated what my capabilities were with my equipment. The results were a whole album of extremely dark pictures, too bright of pictures because I tried using my flash, or such noisy pictures that made them virtually unusable. The lesson I learned immediately, light is a neccessity in photography. "The moment you take the leap of understanding to realize you are not photographing a subject, but are photographing light, is when you have control over the medium." - Daryl Benson

Must not break baby

Next problem, this is a newborn!!! I have not been around a baby, let alone a child in years! Just ask all my friends that have recently become parents, i'm terrified of breaking their babies and it's hard to even get me to hold them. Now you want me to photograph them, and pose them, and move them? I was completely lost as to how to position Arianna to let her cuteness really shine. Lesson immediately learned, research research research!!! It would have helped if I took the time to look up other newborn photos to get ideas on how to pose a baby. Now before any shoot i'll spend a large amount of time researching and just viewing image after image to make sure i'm loaded with endless ideas and poses. Pinterest is great for this by the way! And one additional lesson, get comfortable holding babies!

I will praise myself on one thing, patience. I had read that newborn shots were among the most difficult based on the needs of a baby. Let's just say Arianna did not make it easy on any of us. But that was one of my favorite parts of the entire shoot. I was there with two good friends and I was a part of some very special intimate moments they shared with their little bundle of joy, even if she wasn't quite co-operating with our plans for the day. Just a quick side note, thank you to my sister for instilling a great amount of patience in me growing up, it really helps during photo shoots like this one.

One of the few decent shots...

But the most thanks go to Ryan and Patti, if it wasn't for you asking me to do this photo shoot  chances are this website is not here, this blog is not here, and this passion of mine might have just faded into the darkness like many others before it have. And the craziest part was I was so embarrassed by these pictures I didn't even share the 3 or so good ones I got from the shoot with them until a year later when I put it on their disc of pictures from Arianna's 1 year shoot. Oh yeah, you heard that correctly! They asked me to photograph Arianna's 1 year portraits, after my massive failure during this shoot. And guess what, those pics were absolutely stunning if I can say so myself. Thank you for the first chance and the second chance Ryan and Patti. And thank you to Arianna for being so beautiful.

That's better!