As you guys know, I focus on family and couples photography. But recently, chance led me to an opportunity to try something completely different, and I’m surprised to say that I really enjoyed it.
Let me back up a minute.
A few months ago, when I had just started out, someone suggested that I use Facebook to find people who wanted to do a free photo shoot. I ended up in a group that connected photographers and models. I was expecting to find some aspiring models who were looking to work on their own portfolios, and I did find (and shoot) one.
What I wasn’t expecting, though, was to get to shoot a published model.
This is Mike. I admit, I was a bit nervous to meet him. He’d been shot professionally before. What if my photos didn’t measure up?
Well, I swallowed my apprehension and made plans to meet up in Farmington in late July. We also headed over to Durango, CO, to check out a few different locations.
And it turns out that shooting models is a bit different from the photo shoots I’d been doing. When I’m shooting a family or a couple, I’m talking to them to get them to react to me and to one another, to get a particular look or pose out of them while still retaining the natural feel of candid photography. I love that part of this job.
But I don’t really have to do that when shooting models. They already know what to do. Sometimes, when photographing a family, they might move a little too quickly, which makes it hard to get the shot. But models know that it takes time to adjust settings and frame an image, so they move a little slower and more fluidly.
We found some really interesting places to shoot, including an old burned-out hotel, a beautiful church, and the Bookcase and the Barber.
The Bookcase and the Barber, by the way, is a really neat place. It is set up like a prohibition-era speakeasy. The front is a barber shop, and in order to get in, you need to have the password (which you can get on Facebook). Once you give them the password, they let you in through a door behind a bookcase. The atmosphere is just really cool.
In the end, all my worries were for nothing. Mike is a cool guy and I enjoyed working with him. And I love the way the photos turned out. He uploaded his photos to his business page and tagged me in them. I’m still getting inquiries as a result of that exposure and have gotten to travel to Albuquerque, where the film and print industry is based in the state.
Earlier this month, I shot some photos of Natalie for her portfolio. Natalie is an aspiring model, and she was really professional and super friendly. It was 110 degrees when we did these photos, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at them. She maintained her composure the whole time and didn’t complain once, letting me do what I needed to. I think we got some awesome shots, too.
During this shoot, I got to work with Mariah, who is another budding New Mexico photographer. We had a great time together and it was nice to make a new friend.
I really didn’t think I would ever do this type of photography, and when the opportunity arose, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I also wasn’t confident that I would be good at it, at all.
It’s exciting and a little scary to head down an unknown path, but the results have been really great. I’ve gotten great feedback and really encouraging reviews. I guess the lesson here is, don’t let your fears or preconceived notions put you in a box. I’m so glad I didn’t.