I was sitting out by the pool the day before Memorial Day knowing I was supposed to have gone into work for a few minutes to do payroll, but we'd had a fairly dramatic weekend at our house and I was beat, so I put off going in until the actual holiday, itself. My boss called me, and the first thing that crossed my mind was that I was going to be SO busted for not going into the office when I'd said I would. (We work pretty much banker's hours and are off on major holidays and weekends, and my thought process was that Sunday or Monday...it didn't matter as long as the payroll got done before Tuesday at 2 pm.)
Anyhow, she was calling to double check my web site address because she goes to church with another photographer that was looking for some freelance help. I gave her all the information she asked for, and was tickled that she did this for me (and I was a little relieved I didn't get popped for not going in that morning, too). Brenda's cool; not just as a boss, but as a friend and fellow small business owner. She is a heck of a seamstress and sews things that I only dream about! (Inserting shameless plug here: If you are in the greater Goldsboro area and need a tailor or seamstress, let me know and I'll put her in touch with you!) So, of course I told her, yes, I'm interested, yes, I freelance, yes, I can do sports and other events (did my daughter's cheer portraits for her last summer, since the regular session was a mob scene, and I figured I could do as well, in the shade, without the wait).
So a few weeks went by and I hadn't heard anything further from or about this gentleman. This last Wednesday I was sitting at work, getting ready to hit the road for the day, and Brenda calls me to give me this gentleman's phone number, as he'd been trying to reach me. Before I could call him, the phone rings again, and it's him. Wants to know if I could do a 60 minute shoot for a Parks & Rec sponsored event the following evening. It started after I got off work, so I accepted the assignment, talked to Johnny, and we made plans to go out there and shoot this thing. It involved kids, so I was fairly stoked. Kids make awesome subjects, and this was a candid assignment, and those are even more fun!
By Thursday afternoon the air is thick with smoke from a wildfire burning well east of here, but the wind had shifted, and had blown all this haze into our area. Needless to say, it was a difficult shoot. The light kept changing (thicker smoke makes for darker shots), folks didn't want their pictures taken, kids were cranky, and somehow the event I went to shoot started an hour or so earlier than scheduled. Awards presentation? Done and overwith long before we ever got on the scene. Picnic? 3/4 of the way through when I started shooting. Shots requested? 90-100. Shots taken? 51. Shots that were usable? 35.
I was mortified! I got to the location early, and I STILL missed the main event. The smoke got so thick several times that it made my eyes burn and water, so focusing was crazy. I would line up a perfect shot, and my subjects would realize they were in my viewfinder and would turn away just as I was ready to press the shutter button. Johnny was with me and told me to shoot fast, since people were hauling boogie to their cars to leave. We pretty much assumed that the games were cancelled due to the smoke and they kicked off the awards presentation and picnic early.
I got home and found 16 images that would have been fantastic were completely out of focus. I went from mortified to devastated. Here I was trying to make a good impression on this man, and I a) miss the big event; b) have to deal with the first known "dense smoke advisory" in our area ever, and c) only manage to get a third of the requested number of shots. These things just do not happen to me!!!
I burned the 35 good images to a cd and met the gentleman after working the day job this afternoon. He liked them. He really liked them. You could have knocked me over with a feather, as I was sure this was not my best work, but we talked about things like other events, weddings, etc. I left feeling happy, and VERY relieved.
So if you see a crazy blonde that doesn't look like she belongs in the crowd with a camera peeking around trees? Hey, it might just be me. :) Come over and say hi!