I often find myself browsing through Craigslist looking at ads people post looking for photographers. Usually the ad reads something to the effect of “I don’t have money, so if you would like to add to your portfolio, this would be a great opportunity!” Well here’s a newsflash: I don’t have to work for free to add to my portfolio. People often don’t understand the true amount of time and effort that goes into a photo shoot. It’s not just walking around taking snapshots and then handing over a disk of images. It’s work. Hard work. And the work isn’t over when you’re done taking pictures. You have to weed through hundreds of images and make the choice of what is good and what isn’t. Then there’s the editing, and time to upload, etc etc…
But I digress….
Last week I was browsing Craigslist adds just for fun, and I came across one that caught my eye. Someone wanted to hire a photographer to document a very special surprise evening they had planned for their mother. He offered a fair payment for two hours of shooting time, and stated he would want to buy prints at a later time. The gig was all the way up in Woodinville, which is about an hour and a half from my home in Olympia. Normally it wouldn’t have been worth my drive, but I liked the add so much I responded anyways. I just loved the idea that this man had come up with, and I felt it would be an honor to be able to be a part of their evening.
To my surprise, he called me the next day, saying that with all of the responses he received from the ad he placed he liked my work the best. Now that made my day!
The event was a Chris Isaac concert, being held at the Chateau Ste Michelle winery. That in itself was enough to get a photographer excited! The grounds are meticulously maintained and the buildings are beautiful.
Mother and son arrived in a town car at the VIP entrance. As the mother stepped out of the car, I was snapping pictures like paparazzi. She walked towards her son saying “I think that lady thinks I am someone else!” Her son then told her that he had hired me for the evening to document their time during the VIP reception. (photographers weren’t allowed into the concert)
They walked through the grounds, tasted some wine, and enjoyed the amazing feast that was provided for all VIP guests.
Then it was portrait time. The mother said she hadn’t had a photo taken of her in years… it was my pleasure with her beautiful smile! She still seemed in disbelief when it was my time to leave. I have a feeling her evening was just getting started…