A Photographer's Worst Nightmare

A Photographer's Worst Nightmare: So I recently had the worst week I have experienced thus far in my photographic career.

My camera crapped out on me. It didn't completely die but it was effective for not much more than a paperweight without some serious work. The shutter curtain snapped and needed to be replaced. the mirror moved perfectly and all the electronics were fine, but the sensor was not being exposed to anything because the shutter curtain was not raising. Luckily I have access to other cameras while my workhorse is in the shop getting some TLC.

This was not the worst part of my week.

Most feel that a photographer's worst nightmare might be damaging their gear or getting something stolen; I agree this leaves much to be desired on the fun scale but I have other things much more frightening in the works. One of my clients, did not like my work. It took a lot of wrestling with my pride to write this out but I think of it as a chance to share my growth and maybe help someone else. She called and was very nasty about how much she disliked the work I had done for them. Because they had been traveling, I could not even offer a re-shoot. I am aware that many people complain on vacation in hopes to get things for free. I have worked in the resort industry for over 4 years now and I run in to this all the time. But the problem was that looking back at what I sent her, I realized something: I didn't like my work either. I had never sent out work I didn't like before, but these I truly would never show and that was the problem. I at once offered her a refund. I would never make someone pay for photos I didn't even like myself. But the hardest part was realizing, for the first time, I had not worked hard enough to make these photos what they should have been. I understand that everyone has these types of things happen and I try my best to make sure my clients are as happy with my service as possible. That is why, I buckled down and made sure my next photo shoot would be the best experience I have ever offered.

I scouted longer, I searched for open shade, I timed the golden hour perfectly, I remembered everyone's names and used them frequently and most of all, I provided some of the best photos that I think I have ever taken. Being a former professional ballroom dancer, I have learned (and have tried to overcome some of it) how to be confident, over confident even and I use this to my advantage in some cases; but I now feel like I don't have to put on a show as photographer. I am comfortable in my style, I learn more every day, and I know at the end of the day that people are happy with my work. Hope you enjoy some of the photos from the shoot:


Gould Family-17

Gould Family-12

Gould Family-5

P.S.: For the camera geeks out there who are interested, I shot all of the photos for this particular shoot with a Nikon D3200 I had on loan and a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 Thanks for reading!

West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home country roads

Every year, I take a trip with my church's youth group to West Virginia on a ski trip. This is a tradition shared by many church groups, in the Bible Belt at least. We all pack in a bus to go visit the mountains to enjoy the fluffy white snow that mesmerizes us so. I won't lie, snow is not something I see much of, so I do enjoy it for the few days out of the year I get to play in it.  This year was monumental, marking my 10th year of taking this trip and also the fact that I had the opportunity to stay in a cabin right on the side of the mountain. I could skit right off of the porch on to the slope! The trick was protecting my gear well enough that I could travel up the mountain and ski to my preferred destination. The mountain itself is a nice size but the runs are wide and generally slow which makes it much easier to take a large group of people. I packed my camera bag wrapped up and stuff in my back pack. I also decided to not take any of my zoom lenses as they are the easiest to disrupt calibration inside of. Anyway, the following is a small collection of photos from the trip. Let me know what you think!


My favorite shot of the trip. The cabin we stayed in was a really fun layout and though I could hear everything going on everywhere else in the house, I could see this over the 3/4 wall of my bedroom. skiing-6 skiing-16 skiing-20

I got Annie a Kindle for Christmas and boy did she use it while we were there! She got a lot of reading done and fortunately for me that meant she walked around with a small softbox in her hand all evening! skiing-12 skiing-42

Cell service was awesome at the top! skiing-45 skiing-28 skiing-41

"street" photography is much harder on a mountain but people were really active and fun the interact with. Take this guy for instance, I just like the reflections on his glasses and he was totally cool with me just snapping a few. skiing-21


Due to circumstances beyond my control, Annie and I were not able to get our normal photo on the beautiful snow covered mountain. One of those circumstances included stepping out to the front window of our cabin on our last morning, during the tail end of a snow storm, just in time to watch the transformer blow and knock out all of the power at Winterplace. We packed up the bus in the dark and then I convinced Annie to take quick shot with me in the snow that was coming down pretty hard (at least for us beach people!) It might not be the best photo I have had taken but it is one of my favorites!




Thank you so much for taking a look at my work! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!



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