I am not a professional photographer | Kristen Prince

Do you remember those first two weeks of your freshman year of college?  You meet new people every day and each one asks you the same questions: “Where are you from?  What’s your major?”  Well, WPPI, the photography conference Cheryl & I attended in March, was very similar.  Over five days, I went to ten classes and sat by ten different people (and met countless others in line, at the expo, etc.) and they all asked me the same questions: “Where are you from?  What do you primarily shoot?”  I’d say that I didn’t shoot, and then they’d look for my badge to make sure that I was in the right place.  :)

I know I couldn’t have been the only person like me at WPPI.   We can’t be the first people to figure out that left brains and right brains can co-exist and better yet, compliment one another.  But, I didn’t meet another one of me while I was  there.   I loved the reactions I got as I explained that I work WITH photographers but have no talent whatsoever behind the camera.

Admittedly, I’ve learned a lot from the gals at the studio.  I can tell a good image from a great one and can usually tell you what makes one better than the other.  I take great joy and pride in helping clients select the images that they are going to enjoy the most on their walls.  And nearly two years into this gig, I’m still a superfan at heart!  But, none of this translates into an ability to create a beautiful image.

Folks, there is a reason that I don’t post family vacation photos on Facebook.  I don’t want you all to assume that my lack of talent is indicative of what you’ll get as a Zoë client.   The only images I post on Facebook are taken with my phone and I blame their lameness on just that.  :)

I have some decent equipment for a hobbyist and I went to a photography workshop a few years ago, taught by Maggie, where I learned how to shoot in manual and take an image that is exposed correctly (highly recommend a workshop like this to all hobbyists).   But, all that is not enough to make up for what I lack.  The hard truth is that I’m not blessed with a creative eye (at least for photography).  These gals make beautiful magic behind the camera… my magic happens elsewhere.

Cheryl and I came up with an idea over lunch at WPPI that we hope even one person enjoys as much as we have.  I wanted to give photographing a real session a try and the very brave McLeod family was gracious enough to humor me.  How scary is that???!  Casey and Todd, you really were THE perfect family for this!  You guys are such fun and I’m totally enamored with your children.  They are precious!

Below are what sub-par images taken by someone with a great love and appreciation for photography, but little to no talent or experience look like.  They’re flat, dull and if you look closely at the family image, you’ll notice focus did not even find a face.  Oh, and note to self: take more than five frames of the family group or THIS could be your VERY BEST shot.  :)

Although it would be difficult to get a bad image of these three cuties, the image quality of these DO lack.   If you look closely at these image files, you’ll notice they aren’t sharp and are no where near professional print quality. (Cheryl did compliment me on the posing… I guess all of those sessions where I assisted by holding the reflector did pay off!)

Among the many lessons I learned from this, I confirmed that I’m MUCH more comfortable in the office than I am behind the camera.  And, while I knew that there was MUCH more to conducting a session than just correctly exposing images, I have a deeper appreciation for the talented folks who can do all the things required to make great images at once and rock a session in just a few minutes.

After the McLeods endured my fun, Cheryl treated them to a quick mini session out in front of the studio.  Check out the handiwork of a real professional:
Note from Cheryl:
I have to admit that I’m pretty happy Kristen didn’t complete this session and immediately decide she’s going to drop everything and pour herself in to intense training to become a professional photographer.   We REALLY do rely on her God given talent up here at Zoë.  As the managing partner of Zoë Photographic Group, not only does she do a fabulous job managing the studio, meeting with clients, and keeping us legal, she IS one of the best things to ever happen to my personal business.  Running a business is NOT for the faint of heart! (…or for the sadly unbalanced right brainer!  ha ha!)  If you are a struggling photographer trying to figure out how to wear all the hats involved in running a successful business, the very best advice I can give you is to prayerfully find yourself someone like Kristen.  There came a time in my business when I knew something needed to change.  I had to really consider how much time I was spending away from my family  and how many corners I was cutting in regards to serving my clients.  I truly believe Kristen was a direct answer to prayer and I am VERY thankful for her.  I will continue to photograph her little guy and she will continue to allow me to offer the very best to my clients and to my family!  We make a GREAT team!  :)


1 comment
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Casey McLeodApril 17, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    This shoot was a blast! Kristen should attend more of them (with or without camera in tow) just for the pure joy & laughter she brings. Thanks for all you guys do! It is a God given gift!ReplyCancel

Follow Us