After a 10 year break from portrait photography, I decided to pick up a camera again.
It’s had been that many years since I quit working at a Sears portrait studio to start selling insurance and to say I was a little rusty would be a black hole size understatement. And I don’t know if you remember the old mall studios, but they were a well oiled machine. Place your subject on the box, change the background, push the button. Not a lot of room for creativity. So when I decided that I wanted to start photographing people again, there was a gigantic canyon between what I knew and the knowledge it took to actually create a portrait that was anything someone actually wanted to look at.
So I started taking pictures, A lot of pictures, trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t; all on my own. Every chance I got; I was trying to talk someone into sitting still for me for a “photo session”.
Some of my favorite subjects (victims) were and are my (amazingly patient) sister-in-law and (fantastically adorable) nephews. Every time they would come for a visit, I would get them to sit for me. And it never mattered how well the sitting actually turned out, she was always super supportive and full of praise.
But early on, I suffered from a problem a lot of people suffer from when trying to learn something new. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I had an abundance of confidence and not a lot of information.
But I was inspired and broke.
I knew that I loved taking photos. I knew I needed money. I knew that if I wanted to ever turn taking photos into a business, I needed to take some classes.
So I started taking classes. I took classes on prompting and classes on business and classes on how my camera works and classes on editing. I found out where photographers I wanted to be like were speaking and I booked my seats. I joined an association full of experienced photographers and I listened to everything they wanted to share. I went to conferences and meet-ups and I learned.
I learned that I wanted to create more than a business taking pictures, I wanted to create a full service experience, so when I created Art you ADORE, I did it with that knowledge. That I wanted to find out what my client really wanted and them create it for them.
I still am learning, still taking classes. I hope I don’t ever stop wanting to be better and to keep on learning.