Playing with control

December 7, 2010

Saturday I went in to Boston to meet with an engaged couple to talk about photographing their wedding.   This couple found me courtesy of Miranda’s blog (thanks Miranda!), and I’m pretty excited about shooting their wedding in the unique MIT Chapel next August.

After the meeting, I was reflecting on the whole photography business thing.  I really like that I do it.  I know back when I was in the high art world (at the Center for Photography at Woodstock) it was silently looked down on as not true art and all, but I really appreciate the opportunity to find as much beauty as possible in my surroundings for a whole day.  I like the creative challenge of trying to capture sincerity and authentic love, as well as the fast-paced, every-lighting-situation craziness of the day.  I like how doing photography professionally keeps me in the game, and sharpens my skills for my personal work.

Me with my fancy equipment at a wedding. (Photo by Michelle Neal-Dimery)


I also like how I’ve done this whole thing enough that I really do feel confident that I can handle any situation, and I have an answer for almost every question.  This bride was the first I’ve met with that actually did ask me for more details than I supplied, such as how I back up my work, what kind of lighting I use for indoor photography, and how long it takes for the photos to get to them.  Actually, I think this was the first bride I’ve met with that’s told me they’ve met with other photographers.  I’ll be honest, I was sweating a bit by the end of this meeting.  But I also felt good that I had presented myself well and was able to meet all of their needs.

Photography is such an interesting mix of being in control and giving up control.  Now, depending on how well you know me, you may or may not know that I really like to be in control.  I didn’t realize this until I met my lovely wife, who helped me learn all kinds of things about myself.  So I like that fact that I’m more in control when it comes to photography than I’ve ever been.  I’m constantly getting better and better, and I have fewer and fewer surprises when I look at my photos.  But part of the magic of photography is that you do sometimes capture things you couldn’t fully see when you took the photo… the intuitive composition you didn’t consciously decide on, the way the sun made a rainbow-sunburst in the background, the softness of the background when you’re f-stop is low.  So being open to the happy accidents or the un-see-able details is also a big part of photography.

Anyway, the upside of not finding a job yet is the development of my photo business.  It really has been a joy to be able to give it the time and attention I’ve been wanting to.  Plus, it’s been a real lifesaver these past few months!  I love the fact that I can bring in family income from this skill.

Now- anyone out there getting married?


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