Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of photographing a maternity session with Elisia and Fernando.
Elisia had contacted me in the summer about booking a session and I'm always curious as to how people find me. She said we had mutual friends whom she had seen me photograph and post on Facebook. I'm always nervous/overprepared/anxious before a shoot, especially when I don't know the clients or the location and lighting. In this business, you really have to be prepared for anything. I learned that quickly in this career of mine.
Elisia and Fern were a dream to photograph. Their home looked like it was out of the pages of a magazine. They are beautiful and stylish people. We hit it off instantly. There is always that awkward period when you first start photographing and posing them. I asked Fern to rest his head on Elisia's shoulder and while I tested my lighting, I felt like he was starting to nod off. I joked with him that I needed him to kiss her shoulder, not rest his nose, because it looked like she had his nose growing out of her shoulder. This erupted into a fit of laughter and then the magic started. It's the moments in between the posed shots that literally grab me, and insist I start snapping.
There is something about being back in Stoney Creek that reminds me of where I came from. We were having coffee and chatting about the old days of highschool, night clubs and who-knows-who. Before I knew it, Fern had Z103.5 blasting and we were drinking wine and ordering pizza. A 9 am shoot turned into dinner time and these are the days that I absolutely love my job.
This year has been trying, exhilarating, wonderful, awful and beautiful all rolled into one. As most of you know, I quit working in an office after 13 years with no plan in sight. Some called me brave. I felt at the time, it was stupid. Who knew that picking up a camera and playing with the settings would lead me to where I am right now. Six months of solid shooting, learning, assisting, reading, crying, rejoicing, and working hard have led me to a full time business. I had to research, buy equipment, learn postprocessing, build a website, figure out accounting, prepare a business plan to receive a grant, present my plan in front of an intimidating panel, design business cards and a logo and pretty much learn everything I have learned in half a year. Most times, if not always, I'm too hard on myself. I never think anything is good enough. I've been told that is the norm in this business. Just when you think you're good, someone else is better. Isn't that always the case in life? Sometimes, good enough has to be enough.
Elisia sent me a lovely note yesterday, saying that I made her feel beautiful in the hectic stage of her third trimester; a time when she was feeling anything less than beautiful. She was so radiant. She said that my photographs made her mom cry. These are the joys I find in photography. To me, this is not a job. This is what I was born to do. We all search for the thing in life that will make us matter. Something to contribute. Something to aspire towards. As this year comes to a close and I'm wrapping up wedding season and a few more family sessions, I sit back and reflect.
There will always be naysayers, negative people and competitors trying to bring you down. I stopped writing my blog because of a couple of nasty comments from insignificant people who haven't found their place in life, or made their mark or found a reason to matter. I received so many emails about wanting to read my blog that I decided to continue with my writing. Writing goes hand in hand with this business. And so, I am back. I'm not only back, I'm back and I'm a better person for all the hardships and triumphs I've had to endure.
Elisia and Fernando, here are some of my favourite photographs of your day. I can't wait until we meet again for our newborn shoot, and to hang out with some great people that I am now proud to call friends. Your love is evident. Your home is warm and welcoming. Your baby will be born into a family full of love and grace.
God Bless you all.