However, this post isn’t about pricing, it’s about people. It’s about shooting something that means a great deal to me as an individual. It’s about friends.
The job wasn’t even an adventure shoot, in fact it wasn’t even outside. It was a simple family portrait of my two good friends who are about to have their first baby. As you can imagine, they’re super busy getting ready for impending parenthood, and there was no way that they were going to make it to Sears to have pregnancy portraits done.
So I offered to take some photos of them for free. We arranged a time and last Sunday, I lugged all my lighting equipment over to their house and spent a couple of hours shooting photos and drinking tea with them. It turned out to be one of the most satisfying photography jobs that I can remember having in months.
I know that many of you have seen my work; I’m an outside guy. Inside studio portraits are certainly not my specialty, by any means. That said, I thought I did a pretty good job. However, my satisfaction came not only from the fact that they really liked my images, but because I knew that I had created a lasting gift that will mean something to people that I know and care about.
For so much of my life, photography is about career, success, marketable images, shooting for paying clients and making a living with my craft. It’s not about friends and meaningful events nearly enough. I realize that every time I look at my friends’ refrigerators and see so many snapshots under all the magnets.
It’s times like these when I’m reminded that photos don’t always have to be about capturing spectacular landscapes or freezing moments of extreme action. They can and should be about subjects that have close personal meaning and connection to you. More often, it should be about the people that you love.
Another friend of mine who tried his hand at full time outdoor photography for awhile gets his photo fix now by making images of his kids with his studio lights. That satisfies him to no end.
So, take more photos of your friends and your family. Use the same creativity and technique that you would to make stunning landscapes or action shots and make great images of the people you care about. I guarantee, you will never ever regret having those images for as long as you live.
Dan Bailey is a professional adventure, outdoor and travel photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska who swears that he’ll start taking more snapshots. Follow his own blog at danbaileyphoto.com/blog and see his daily updates at facebook.com/danbaileyphoto.