A Rare Second Chance

May 20, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

As photographers, we don't always get a second chance to capture a good image. When we do, it's best to knock a home run. I'm pretty happy with my reshoot with Marcie, but I cannot say the same for our first session together, hence the reshoot.

When I work with a portrait client, I almost always suggest that we work at the edge of the day (early morning, late afternoon / evening). If I know the portrait will be used for something specific like a personal website, to promote a new product, etc., I'll ask that the subject provide me with some guidance, hopefully by way of some sample shots, of a type of feel the client is after. I didn't do either of these for Marcie's first session.

Marcie approached me on Wednesday looking for a photo session that weekend. I believe the words she used were, "I've kinda been letting this slide, so I want to get on this quickly." After I asked for some times that worked, the only one that worked for both of us was 10am on Sunday. There goes rule #1 out the window. In our email correspondence, Marcie mentioned she wanted some headshots, and then provided me with her website where the image would be used.

We met on Sunday, and since I was working without an assistant, I was traveling light. Marcie and I found a few locations, but none of them afforded me the ability to work with the light very well, and those that did did not meet Marcie's expectation of showcasing the city. Once we both realized that the shoot wasn't going well, we opted to end our mutual suffering, and had an iced coffee from the nearby Brooklyn Flea Smorgasburg.

Over coffee, we talked about what had and hadn't worked, and something started to emerge. Marcie wasn't nearly as booked as I had believed, and she didn't want a headshot, but instead wanted a cityscape where she played a bit part in the photo. Once we had that figured out, I offered to do a discounted re-shoot since we were both on the same page, and she agreed.

For our second session, I called in a hired gun in Lauren Welles to help as an assistant, voice-activated light-stand, and creative muscle. With two people operating, I was able to execute options I didn't have before. Even as the shoot was still ongoing, Marcie was checking out my camera screen and kept saying, "This is so much better than the first time! I'm so glad we decided to re-shoot!" I must have heard that at least 10 times throughout the night.

Now that Marcie has chosen her selected photos, and I have chosen a few of mine, I can share them with you. I do still have the images from the first shoot, but they have been relegated to no man's land (aka: archived with a vengeance) never to see the light of day again.. or at least for a while.


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