Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Familia

I know I'm not the best photographer in the world. Ive been raising the bar with each shoot I do and have come a long way from my very first gig. I was asked today "How do you compete with other photographers who offer there services for the price of a KFC Family meal?" and "what really differentiates a pro from a foe?" Well let me try to answer this without offending anyone. We've all heard the saying "You get what you paid for" right? Well my father always told me that if it sounds too good to be true then odds are it is! I bought a Groupon (Internet Coupon) for a on location photo session. I was pumped... Finally I could be the person at the other end of the lens and have an amazing experience with a professional who enjoys photography just as much as I do. WRONG!!!! (I'll get to why a little later in this story) We decide to meet at LACMA in front of the gorgeous display of lamp poles. I booked the session 2 months in advance. 2 weeks before my highly anticipated family photo session I receive an email from my photographer stating that we have to reschedule due to low light. I Informed him that it would even look better due to the fact that we would be illuminated by hundreds of lamp posts and he could use an off camera flash. The real reason finally Creeps out... And he admitted he needed to go out of town. O.K... So we rescheduled to meet at La Cienega park. So finally the date of my shoot comes around. Our meeting time is at 4:30pm, I get there at 4:00 since I'm used to always being a little early to scout the location out. To my surprise the photographer is arriving at the same time we are (Very Impressive). I walk up to introduce myself and as I get closer the first thing that comes out of his mouth is "are you my 4 O'clock or 4:30?" :-/ Ummmm.... Last time I checked I have a name and when two people meet for the first time there should be an introduction made instead of going straight to business. I respectfully respond "guess I'm the 4:30pm" as he takes his attention off of me and starts his search for his 4:00pm... "awwww, there they are" he shouts as he turns his back on me and starts walking towards his clients direction.
Wow, did that just happen to me? What ever happened to common courtesy? But oh well, I wasn't going to let it get to me... "We'll just have fun with our son, I mean... We are at the park! So let's make the best of it" I tell Marrha. I even get a chance to do a mini photo session of little Josiah with my phone while we wait.

Now that half an hour has passed by and it's now 4:30 I see my photographer walking towards us with a worried look on his face.
Photographer: "We can no longer take pictures inside the park grounds" ....
Will/Martha: "What the heck???"
Apparently he got kicked out of the park by a park ranger due to shooting without a permit. My guess is that he's already known by the authorities and had been warned in the past (due to him knowing exactly what to do next).
We walked four blocks down the park, stopping in front of random peoples lawns and taking random looking photos. My wife had high heels on and wasn't really prepared for the afternoon workout/portrait session. We sat in front of people's stair cases and had my son sit on the grassy strip of an ugly side walk. At the end of it all, instead of hearing an apology for the lack of professionalism, location due to the circumstances, or simply for making me and the fam work out in our dress clothes.... all we get is "You can thank the park ranger for the way your session turned out".
Even though I picked the top 5 pictures of the bunch and am happy with the way we came out... It was a horrible experience for not only me but my wife and son.
Moral of the story is I got what I paid for! Lol

But in all seriousness.... I just want to promise myself no matter where my little photography business takes me.... I'm gonna always be that fun, goofy, and most importantly... Polite photographer who will put my clients first and try my very best to provide them with a pleasant experience that will sell itself. (No Groupon required)
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