Bria was the first session I booked after my hiatus from my photography business. I'm not sure who was more nervous, me or her! I met her, her mother and her siblings at Heritage Square in Downtown Flagstaff in the middle of January. I used to completely avoid midday bookings because the direct sunlight absolutely horrified my little photographer heart. But I'm working to overcome obstacles and being flexible enough to book sessions in the middle of the day would open up my business to so much more opportunity. So we did it! Bria's mom told me she wanted to look into cosmetology school and I could immediately see why. This girl's makeup was giving me model vibes the whole time and she was so fun to work with! After a few test shots and getting my sea legs back behind the camera, Bria's family went off to explore the Flagstaff shops and we broke away. I personally think it's pretty tricky for someone to feel comfortable when their family tags along for a senior photoshoot. Don't get me wrong, her whole family was incredibly kind and I loved being around them, but I loved the opportunity to take off with just Bria and chat with her about her interests.
I learned three important things during my session with Bria.
Photographers: Photography is like riding a bike. Once you learn all the in's and out's of manual shooting, your favorite angles and settings you don't lose that. It's in your blood! Once you're back in the saddle after some time off, you'll feel a little clumsy at first but by the end of the session you'll be totally in flow.
People are Good. I've already shared this already in my last post, but Bria's shoot is what really shed light on this one for me. What I am most grateful for from this session is the reminder that people are so good and kind. People who hire you are just like you. They want what you would want from a family photoshoot, couples photoshoot, etc. They want those photos to make them feel beautiful, they want to feel seen by your camera (and not in the traditional, cheesy. smile kind of way). They have their insecurities and family quirks. Most people want direction and they put trust in you to be kind and come from a place of love working with them, their family and the friends they refer to you. People are good. This shoot also helped me feel like I was more involved in the Flagstaff community. At one point we stopped in a shop called Earthbound Trading Co for some photos and the employees were kind enough to let us use the space without judgement or limitation. I will say though, shooting photos with a face mask on is a 1/10 - I do not recommend! I'm all for mask safety and 6 feet regulations, but breathing through my mask fogged up my viewfinder like no other. We took quite a few breaks to let my camera de-fog (what a time to be alive, haha!).
If you try more than three times to get a shot, just move on. This won't always apply. If you have no time limit on your session and your whole goal is the one shot, then keep at it champ. But if you have an idea in mind and keep trying at it, before you know 30 minutes will have gone by and you're sacrificing variety in your session. Right now, variety is everything to my work. Different poses, different backgrounds, different angles - I don't want to deliver an album where every shot looks similar to the one before it. In this session we tried like 5 times to get a shot with Bria's green sequin shawl waving just right and before I knew it I was sitting with Lightroom in front of me thinking, "well, shit, none of these look like what I wanted and there's very little variety in the shots I have that do work." It wasn't the end of the world, but we could've done a lot more with this shoot if I hadn't been so stubborn about getting one shot that maybe didn't matter that much.
At the end of the day I'm really happy with how Bria's senior photos came out and I'm so thrilled to share her family was happy with them as well. I am so grateful to them for being the first to jump aboard and trust me with their session. It was an awesome re-introduction back into the world of photography for me!
"I cannot rave enough about @NettikPhoto! Jessie is extremely talented with a camera and a pleasure to interact with. She perfectly captured my daughter’s personality and spirit in her Senior photos. I will be a returning customer and will recommend @NettikPhoto to everyone! Thank you!"