My first shootout with my #happytogs! As many of you know, photography is not my "day job" per se. I work 40+ hours during the week, edit on the weeknights, and shoot on the weekends. No days off for this girl! With that being said, I never have the opportunity to join our lovely ladies from Happy Togs in shootouts or even social activities. So I was super excited to see that this shootout was being planned and I could finally attend.
I'm not going to lie, it was somewhat intimidating. I see all these wonderful ladies and their incredible talents on social media on a daily basis. Even though I've been doing this for 8+ years off and on, I still feel very amateur. I guess that's just my personality, to be modest and always finding ways to improve. Looking back at my work from 2010 is somewhat embarrassing but a constant reminder of how far I've gone. And my journey and what I have learned on the way is thanks to networking with photographers just like these amazing ladies. Thank you for pushing me to grow, for giving me confidence when I was down and providing invaluable guidance and support.
This shoot was a bit different in terms of what I'm used to....which is natural light. Don't get me wrong, we still had some light, but cranking up that ISO beyond 1250 was just not an option for me. I knew light and airy was not doable here without grain, and moody and contrasty was not me. I was totally somewhere in the middle. To stay true to my style and still keep the quality of the photo at its best was a challenge. Quickly, another challenge presented itself. I shoot short and prime. That's just my preference. This means my lenses are fixed (no zoom) and stay between 35 - 85mm, with my 50mm lens being my baby. Well, when you have 15+ photographers trying to get the shot, I was the oddball who had to be upfront in everyone's shot. I can't say I was the only one, but my "shorties" will understand. Though at times I was wishing for a 135mm, I'm sticking to me: my shorty 50m, shooting as wide as I can.
I suppose the lesson for me was: "you do you!'
As soon as I stopped trying to be the photographer I wasn't, my photographs finally made me smile. As much as we try to emulate others, its what is unique to you that makes you successful.
All the proceeds from this shootout will go to an NFP organization which helps bring an end to child trafficking and aids children in such situations. Choosing childhood...let them be little!
Gown: Bentley and Lace