A First Timer

She’s never done a shoot before. But here we are.

It was unbelievably cold.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had the wind blow as much as it did on this shoot but wow, we suffered a little bit. My hands were red afterwards but it was so worth it.

The beginnings of this shoot were kinda funny. I shot with her cousin, Katie, in November and the two were together for Thanksgiving. Long story short, I told Katie to tell Maddie to message me to set up a shoot. And that she did.

You wouldn’t be able to tell from these shots that this was her first shoot. That’s the thing with photography. It’s a collaborative effort between the photographer and the subject. I am constantly learning more and more about photography, whether it’s watching tutorials about camera hacks or going out to take pictures. I watch videos on how to pose people for specific situations like this. Natural movements, these videos say, create some of the best shots.

Everyone I shoot with will tell you I don’t do fake smiles. This is 100% true. They’re not real. Instead, I crack jokes and fire off the shutter. These lead to some of the most powerful shots I’ve ever taken, and I’ve learned that along the way. Capturing emotion has perhaps become one of my better features as a portrait photographer, and it’s evident in the shots. I don’t need to try to find the happiness projected by Maddie.

It’s there.

Now, remember the wind? We decided to move closer to the waterfront and while it isn’t visible in these shots, Lake Erie is looming behind the trees pictured above. We were absolutely frigid but we were determined to get more shots. With my hands nearly frozen (I wish I was kidding), we managed to stay out for perhaps another 20 minutes.

We finally wrapped and got back to warmth, but there are already plans for another shoot in January.

And I already know it’ll happen.

Parting shot:

Be happy.

Next blog: Goals for 2019.

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