Recently I was asked to do the class photos for our Charter School. I teach first grade there. I didn’t think it would be a big deal because I had done them last year too. But, this year, since I had recently graduated from NYIP I decided I needed to be paid for the endeavor. After all, I’m working toward being a professional photographer, part-time yes, but still professional.
Well, I gathered my backgrounds, my lighting equipment and of course my brand new Nikon D750. I set up a schedule. I took the pictures. Man, it’s not an easy task getting the attention of approximately 18-20 wiggly kids.
Then came editing time. I cried. I cried more. I told my husband I was returning everyone’s money. Because the camera is new to me I had to ISO too high. The pictures were noisy and the background wasn’t wide enough to accommodate so big a group.
I wanted to give up!
My husband, a teacher at our school and formally in the printing business, said NO, you can’t give up. We worked hard at coming up with a different place to take the pictures. After a week of retrying with cute, rambunctious volunteer youngins we hit gold. I now have a plan for retakes. My class and my husbands are done and look great. I wish I could post them here, but alas can’t.
Our yearbook person needed photos ASAP so I worked like a dog for over a week on the pictures that I had already taken. With the help of my wonderful husband and the book, Teach Yourself Raw in Photoshop by digitalcameraworld, I had a crash course on learning how to denoise and save photos. The photos that I thought were so terrible actually turned out really well. I learned how to fix them and I also learned how to take out the background and add a different background. I looked at the class photos from 2014 and 2015 that a “professional” school photo company had done and found that mine very much outdid theirs. I have my confidence back.
In fact, this weekend I took the senior pictures of one of our secretaries’ son. It was such a fun photo shoot. My subject was handsome, sweet and did a great job modeling. My camera did exactly what it was supposed to do. And so did I!
I can now call myself a professional! I’ve broke the barrier.