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What Do You Do For A Living?

“What do you do for a livng?”

I am often asked “What do you do for a living?” Usually the very next question is “Are you a photographer?”

So . . . What do I do for a living? From a business perspective? From a creative perspective? As an art form? Commercial? Studio? Sports? And on, and on, and on. This question is so loaded with possibilities and THAT is why I love this question!

“What do I do for a living?” . . . I run a photography company.

What I really want to say is “If only for a moment, I get to stop time. I get to create moments, memories, and smiles that will outlast my life and, possibly, my children’s lives.

I also part of a team that goes out into world and makes every effort to capture “that smile” that only a parent could love or capture a moment that will never come again, be it a wedding or a group picture of a family reunion. In short I get paid to get people to smile.

Every day I get to “work” on making sure we are ready to photograph a wedding. From rehearsal, to ceremony, to dinner, and reception we make sure the right moments are captured forever. This also means we spend time with the bride, groom, and family. We get to know a couple and their families at a very precious moment in their lives. It can be very humbling to be entrusted with their confidence.

I get to bring a group of people together for one day. One of the most important days of the school year for most students “PICTURE DAY!”. This is a huge project that requires a lot of coordination between our company, the school, the parents, volunteers, students, post production people, and more. We never forget that this might be the one day that the child gets to wear a brand new pair of shoes or a new dress. These students come in for their portrait and start talking about all the work their mom did on their hair that morning. Some boys talk about the tie that their dad put on them for the first time. Yes, picture day at school is a huge moment in a child’s life and we never forget that.

Once in a while we have a newborn come in to our studio and we are reminded how precious life is. The parents turn to us to capture their baby, in all his or her glory. They entrust us to create a beautiful portrait that will hang on their wall for years to come. Although it is a huge responsibility we willingly and happily take it on.

So . . . what do I do for a living? I get to have smile . . . a lot!

It is very rewarding to be able to make a living working with a great team and also working with great clients. We consider every subject we photograph a client. Some are newborns, and newborns have very strong opinions. Just ask any newborn parent who no longer gets eight straight hours of sleep a night. A newborn does not work according to your schedule. Oh no. This little one has his/her own set schedule and we work around it. No if’s, and’s, or but’s abot it. However, newborns offer a great opportunity to create a portrait that truly captures their personality at a very young age. When you get them at the right time they are so pleasant to work with. To take a newborn’s first official portrait is such an honor.

Some clients are a combination of parent, child, and infant. Talk about opinions. And it always falls on us to get “that signature picture” that they will treasure for the rest of their lives. This dynamic is fun to work with because, for that one moment, they get focused. They know this portrait will hang on their wall for a lifetime. To be allowed into their family dynamic, be it for an hour, is such a privilege.

In my next blog I will address “Are you a photographer?”

Until then do not let anyone hold you down and keep reaching for the stars.


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