Two days ago, I got up to get ready for a session that morning. I was in such a great mood and it occurred to me it was because of my “job”. I had an overwhelming desire to write down what I was feeling…to try and get into words what this business means to me…and why I continue to do it though tough times, fun times, busy times and slow times. It may not make any sense to you, or you may know exactly what I mean. But I needed to get it out for some reason…then share it with you. Enjoy!
July 22, 2013
I got up in a great mood. I had a client coming that day that had traveled states to be here with family and she always makes time to come by here for a session. I feel extremely blessed to be able to do what I do.
I am a professional photographer. I do all of the stuff that you are supposed to do to be able to make that claim. I pay to go to classes. I pay to go to conferences. I get updates on all my equipment and software. I belong to various forums. I am constantly learning more, daily, to be able to get the images that my clients want…. but that also satisfy me. I am registered, I pay my taxes, I pay all the necessary insurances and I sit at my computer for countless hours. Those hours are spent in record keeping, editing, researching the latest techniques and equipment, and trying to keep up in all the social media posts that I’m supposed to be doing. All of this is the cluttered end of being a professional photographer….well, to me anyway. All of it is necessary but is not why I do what I do.
Telling someone that I am a professional photographer does get various Types of responses. There’s the ” oh….nice.” response while they quickly move on to change the subject before I might happen to ask them to call the studio to make an appointment. There’s the “oh really…my friend takes pictures too, she is taking our wedding pics.” There’s also that look that indicates I don’t really have a job at all… I just use a camera to take pictures and charge way too much to do it. Every once in a while though, I will get the person that really understands what that means…. who is really interested in what I do and what my clients get in return.
I am a professional photographer. My heart is beating faster while I wait for my client to arrive. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I’m excited to see my client’s faces at the door… how much they have grown… how much they have changed. I am excited to hear what has been going on with them since I last saw them. I am nervous …and hoping that all goes well…. with the equipment, with the lighting, hoping that the connection will be there so that I can get the images that my clients trust me to get. They trust me… that’s a big thing for me. My mind is racing… what did we do the last time…which backgrounds did we use…are we going to stay inside or go outside? I wonder what they’re going to wear. I hope that I can create the images that will wow them when they see them. When is that going to go away… that excited and nervous feeling before every session? I hope never… because that is what fuels my desire to always be on top of things… the equipment, the education, the desire to create images that I know will touch their hearts.
When I see their faces at the door, all of my nervousness is gone. I see eyes full of excitement, children full of life… ready to play. I also see parents on the precipice of freaking out because they had been searching high and low for just the right clothing, Mom’s that are so worried because their babies would not take their naps that day… and I hear warnings of what’s to come if their children do not behave. I ignore the freak outs and the warnings. It is all going to be okay. I see the sweet faces and everything else falls into place. I hear about the latest accomplishments. I hear about what has happened in the past and what’s coming up. I can see the change when everyone starts to relax… that’s when the real person comes out. The squeals and the giggles… Oh wait, that’s me. I am there to capture the gifts of that day that my clients give me… the smiles, the natural expressions, that moment. My clients become family and it all matters to me. I can see the joy in their faces when they look at their images. I can feel the emotion in their hearts as they wipe a tear. I can tell how much this means to them.
I have been given precious opportunities to photograph people…. young and old alike…. some that are no longer with us. I feel blessed to have been given even a small moment of their time and lives that they shared with me. It reinforces my belief that I am doing the right thing…being in the right place… knowing what to do even though it is sometimes heartbreaking. I have been there for the brand newness of a baby…watched every milestone pass… learning to grasp, learning to sit by themselves, learning to walk, that first birthday. I have seen these things time and time again, but each time is brand-new. I have watched the babies turn into wonderful young ladies and young men. I know the technical side of things and I am learning more every day, but the feeling that I get when I am watching Life happen in front of my eyes is amazing.
So yeah… I am a professional photographer: Professional…because I do all the things necessary to be able to say that. I charge to do it because I have to make a living…after all it is my JOB; Photographer…because I see life with my heart and with my camera. I would not have it any other way. That’s why I do what I do.
With all my sincerity and love,
Short Stories Photography by Julie