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Stress = Rookie Mistake

beckylynne

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Yesterday was a total **** show. It was Remembrance Day here and my husband is in the Canadian Forces so it's always kind of a big deal. However, I had a photoshoot booked. He promised that he would make the time in the day to watch the kids so I could go. Well he forgot. Last minute I had to chuck my little guy in the car and tear off to my shoot.

I was right on time but man was I stressed. I jumped out of the car and right into shooting. For some reason my settings seemed off but the images coming off the back of my camera seemed ok so instead of taking a breath and stopping to see what the issue might be I kept making adjustments as I powered through.

As I was packing up my gear I caught a glimpse of something I hadn't before and I almost threw up all over myself. I had made the most rookie of mistakes.....a mistake that in my last 15 years shooting I had never done....ever. I shot the entire family shoot at 3200 freaking ISO. 3200. ISO. I've never felt like such a giant newb. It was a very humbling experience actually.

I was able to salvage for the most part....but it's the first time I've ever crossed my fingers and hoped they don't want an enlargement. Poop.
11011833_972362106169825_6292393319626966699_n.jpg
 
ok... here's a :icon_hug:
 
Ugh - that stinks. BTDT. Do you have the Topaz Labs DeNoise plug in? It's really incredible.
 
Ugh - that stinks. BTDT. Do you have the Topaz Labs DeNoise plug in? It's really incredible.
No, I shot it in raw thankfully which means I was able to smooth it out. It makes everyone's face look like plastic so I left some of the noise in. At the end of the day I know they will be happy with them. It's just frustrating when you KNOW you screwed it up. Makes me feel like they didn't get the best me. That being said it's just a mini session so they aren't paying for the best me either lol
 
The wife looks to be thinking, "is she shooting at 3200"? And the one dog has a serious look as he already told you twice that your shooting at 3200 (I had a golden retriever, they know these things).
 
Why couldn't you tell because you would be shooting at a very fast shutter speed or small aperture, I used to always reset iso back to 100 after every shoot, if your shooting for money there is no excuse
 
This summer I bought a tank of gas at the Union 76 gas station near my house, then drove the 9/10 of a mile to the freeway and drove about 12 miles thinking about how great the gasoline was, and how peppy the car felt. Turned out I'd been driving in third gear... Do'ah!!!! Even with a floor-mounted shifter indicating 3, not "D", even with the on-dash LED reading "3" and not D, even with the tachometer reading an extra 700 RPM...I was blissfully driving 65 MPH in third gear, stereo blasting, AC running full bore...

I guess the moral of the story is, when you're not paying attention to the displays, Sh!+ happens!
 
This summer I bought a tank of gas at the Union 76 gas station near my house, then drove the 9/10 of a mile to the freeway and drove about 12 miles thinking about how great the gasoline was, and how peppy the car felt. Turned out I'd been driving in third gear... Do'ah!!!! Even with a floor-mounted shifter indicating 3, not "D", even with the on-dash LED reading "3" and not D, even with the tachometer reading an extra 700 RPM...I was blissfully driving 65 MPH in third gear, stereo blasting, AC running full bore...

I guess the moral of the story is, when you're not paying attention to the displays, Sh!+ happens!
This was it. I was mad at my husband for remembering the dead and forgetting the living....my kid was running around. I was being paid and I delivered a product worthy of what I was paid for. I've never shot anything at 3200 ISO in my life. All I can think was maybe one of the kids grabbed my camera and was playing. It was also set to video mode and I've never shot a video with it....had I not been so preoccupied with my little guy running around and how horribly awkward this family was I would have caught it. All you can do is learn and move on. Honestly a mistake that will NEVER happen again.

To the ass who said it's unacceptable for people taking money to mess up. Pot. Kettle. Black. Either that or he hasn't been in a business long enough. My grandfather has traveled the world as a famous professional photographer. He's photographed the queen upon her invitation on 8 separate occasions. Once he shot the first half of a wedding with no film in his camera. He says the same thing....it doesn't even feel the same with no film in it. He was just so stressed it happened. His ONLY advice to me when he handed me my fist camera many moons ago was "At some point you will mess up someones wedding, can you live with that and move on."
 
I've done that. I did that with film, back before DX canisters and cameras. I've since gotten into the habit of setting ISO back to 200 when I finish shooting.

Everybody messes up something at least once. Like Marija, hope this helps. :icon_hug:
 
I'd like to commend you for posting this and reminding us all we are only human. Things happen no matter how professional and careful our approach is and it's just the way it is. It could have just as easily happened to your clients to cause just as much tension to the shoot. One of them could have forgot to be there, the dog could have puked or whatever. Had it been a storm you wouldn't have gotten the shot and no one would say it was inexcusable.

But I have a question if you don't mind on how you handled it from here. In this situation should one fess up? I ask because we paid WAY TOO much for a session this summer that any teen with a cel phone could have gotten better shots. Perhaps your clients don't know those shots are not your best work and they love them and I hope that is the case. But I really doubt your stress level or distractedness went unnoticed by the couple or the dogs. Either that or mom and dad are both badly constipated in that shot. So as a pro how to do approach that? I'm sure you apologized for having your kids along but did you offer any sort of discount unexpected extras to wow your clients after this? Did they comment or give you any kind of feedback yet?
 
Have you thought about a reshoot? You said that it was a mini session so they didn't pay for your best, but do you truly want subpar work being associated with your name?
 
I'd like to commend you for posting this and reminding us all we are only human. Things happen no matter how professional and careful our approach is and it's just the way it is. It could have just as easily happened to your clients to cause just as much tension to the shoot. One of them could have forgot to be there, the dog could have puked or whatever. Had it been a storm you wouldn't have gotten the shot and no one would say it was inexcusable.

But I have a question if you don't mind on how you handled it from here. In this situation should one fess up? I ask because we paid WAY TOO much for a session this summer that any teen with a cel phone could have gotten better shots. Perhaps your clients don't know those shots are not your best work and they love them and I hope that is the case. But I really doubt your stress level or distractedness went unnoticed by the couple or the dogs. Either that or mom and dad are both badly constipated in that shot. So as a pro how to do approach that? I'm sure you apologized for having your kids along but did you offer any sort of discount unexpected extras to wow your clients after this? Did they comment or give you any kind of feedback yet?
I've known the couple for over 16 years 3 of my kids are best friends with their three kids. They had actually originally asked me to bring ALL my kids to the shoot and stay after for dinner after. They weren't bothered in the least the my little one was there. I was calm as a cucumber because that's how I roll. I laughed and posed and did my thing. The mother has a massive fear of having her picture taken. She has a large port wine stain covering the entire left side of her face that she has covered with makeup. I was battling her anxiety more than anything....I broke out my best jokes but getting a reaction out of her was tough. She just kept gritting her teeth in a fake smile. She wouldn't hold the smile either....she kept getting distracted by the dogs...her kids pushing and shoving...and I had to repeatedly bring her attention back to me. I'm no posing genius so I suppose I failed in this area then.

To answer your question she loved the whole session. She did it for the Christmas Card I was offering with the session.
 
Have you thought about a reshoot? You said that it was a mini session so they didn't pay for your best, but do you truly want subpar work being associated with your name?
No because she loves the images and they were for a 5x7 Christmas Card so at the end of the day the grain is a non issue.
 

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