2009: Photos For Others, Photos For Me

18 February 2010

2009 was the year people started paying me for photography, but more importantly, each job was a new experience for me.

I started out a nervous wreck with a good game face to do senior portraits with Bridget in Spring, and then a first-year portrait with a friend's son. Both went fabulously, and I learned that I *really* like doing portraits, and this gave me confidence to pursue my personal portrait project later that year.

My Mom and I approached my grandparents about shooting some environmental portraits, and they readily agreed. Taking an afternoon to talk with my grandparents and get my grandfather to dig out all his shop toys he's collected over the years yielded some of my most valuable experiences of the year and images for a long time to come.

Over the summer, I decorated K-Prep Learning Center when they expanded with images from my Toy Project. Some of those images were made on-site or specifically for display in the classrooms. I still very actively contribute images to the toy project.

I also had a couple people approach me about decorating their homes with some of my previously made work, so I ended up taking some time to identify and think about Fine Art photos. By this time, I started to get the hang of framing and presenting images. It's interesting to have someone acknowledge my images of pretty things -- landscapes and macros.

By Fall, I could try anything, so I signed up to be a photographer for Images for a Cure after hearing about it from a podcast interview. I figured out some session fees (which were donated), booked 2 family sessions, and made some prints -- they trusted me, I got to make some more portraits of which I'm really proud, and the families liked my work enough to buy a good number of prints. Most importantly, I got to practice my craft in a way I would not usually had I not been pursuing it somewhat professionally. I love working with people and making portraits.

The final bit of craziness for the year came when I got to second shoot at a wedding for Steve and Sharon! I got to work on more portraiture and event coverage with a more seasoned wedding photographer in a setting I don't get to shoot every day. The whole event was one challenge after another, but we just ran with it, and had fun. I could not have asked for a better introduction to wedding photography.

I'm not sure what 2010 will mean. It'll be hard to match the pace of last year, and I'm not sure it would be the plan. I'll try to make it more of the same -- portraits, a wedding or two for family and friends, and I'll likely be presenting more work to be sold as fine art. I anticipate learning a bit more about design that happens around my photography -- I have much to learn there.

Filed Under: Photography