I remember my first job pretty clearly – a job that I was later fired from. I didn’t actually know that would be a recurring theme early in my life but it was. I was a dishwasher at a local restaurant. Oh my God, I hated that job. You can’t get any lower on the restaurant totem pole. I really didn’t mind the work, but the people I worked with were not terribly nice and they tended to treat the dishwashers poorly. So one day I told my boss that I didn’t appreciate how people were talking to us and it didn’t seem like we were on the kitchen team as much as we were the people it was fun to kick around. He told me that was how people just starting out were always treated. He was explaining that to me as he was collecting my apron and pointing me toward the door. Oh well. So much for that career.
I’d like to say I promised myself that I wold never treat anyone else like that, but the reality is I probably did at some point in my life. But the awful feeling did stick with me a little.
We’ve talked a little bit about the number of photographers entering the market in this blog before. And I listen to some other photographer friends complain about it – a lot. I say the more the merrier. Competition is a healthy thing. I also believe if you have a business plan and a commitment to your craft you will be fine as a photographer. The reality is that most people who enter this profession don’t know what it takes when you’re not behind the lens to actually make a living at it.
Anyway, enter our new friend and current amateur photographer Colleen – a high school junior who will be a professional photographer before you know it. She believes it with a certainty you rarely see for someone so young. She doesn’t love photography. She lives it. So when she asked asked us one day if we could help her out, we told her we would be happy to. And what better experience is there than real world, right? So we offered to do her senior photos but use it as a way to explain what we were doing so she could understand how the images were being created. It was like a creative classroom, and she got some cool senior photos out of the deal. The experience from our perspective is great. Bob and I got to teach a little – something we both love to do and she got some experience not usually available to an aspiring photographer. I think in our society people can spend a little too much time looking over their shoulder rather than offering a hand to help someone up. OK, off the soapbox. It was a great experience and Colleen keeps in touch with us and we talk a little through email about what she needs to be doing. She’ll be successful. She’s focused on the big picture and I’m going to really enjoy watching her evolve as a photographer and businesswoman.
Here are a few of the shots we got of her that day.