I recently had a photo session with a mom who asked for pictures of herself and her son at their home. She wanted casual pictures of what they looked like now so that she could update her relatives living in Europe whom they had not seen in years. We chatted on the phone about what she was hoping for and it all sounded pretty straight forward: She wanted to wear a couple different outfits, some poses by the pool, some in the backyard, a few of just her son and a few of just her. No biggie, right? I arrived at their home, looked around the yard and pool area and it was very nice, just like mom had told me. We looked over their clothes,… everything looked great. Then I saw the cut-off jeans and thought “Hmmmm?” “What about those?” I asked. She said “Oh, I thought after we take pictures here, we could go over to the park and take some over there? There is a really cool old bridge there.” “Okay”, I said. “Let’s see how it goes here and then, if we have time, we’ll pop over there. Fair enough?” “Yup”, she said. So we got to work.
Just for the record, 99% of my bookings start with a portrait design consultation just to avoid this “surprise”. I do pretty well when I get a chance to plan my session and have an idea of what I’m getting into and what my client is expecting.
The backyard shoot went quickly and I was very happy with the images. Then I took a look at my watch. Unfortunately, I thought, there would be plenty of time for the park. I asked if she still wanted to go and before I knew it, she and sonny had their cut-offs on and we were all zooming off to location #2.
Two minutes later we pulled into the parking lot and were marching across the park towards the woods on the opposite side. Mom had told me about an old train bridge over a creek just past the tree line. “Cool” I thought, but was still a little skeptical. I like to think that I’m open-minded, but sometimes the unknown makes me nervous. Perhaps it’s human nature, perhaps I’m a wimp (my wife and mother-in-law think the later), but the world keeps spinning, either way. Right?
So we get to the place where a bridge once was and it was nothing like what I had thought it would be. There was nothing left of the bridge but the rusted steel support beams crossing over the creek… and it was the coolest thing EVER! It was so peaceful, the light was beautiful, lush green leaves everywhere… It was the most delightful surprise. And I’ve got the pictures to prove it.
So if you’ve got a crazy outside-the-box location, give me a call and see if we can’t make great pictures for you, too.