I tell everyone that I have the best clients. Maybe it’s because I openly convey that putting good thoughts and good things into the world will equate good thoughts and good things bestowed upon you. My own, tweaked version of The Secret, if you will. I don’t really believe that if I glue pictures of winning lottery tickets to some bristol board, I’m going to be next in line, but I do believe that being positive will bring positive people and things your way. Why? Because as much as we tend to think that we want something ‘different,’ we still seek out in others what we value and perceive as ‘good.’ Ergo, I shouldn’t be surprised by the clients who choose me as their photographer.
Laura Ross (nee Buckland) was special from the beginning. She’d contacted me a few times about coming to PEI to do some pictures for her of her and her fiance Craig, her dog Willow, and her lovely old horse, Knitter. After weeks of planning a weekend long shoot in PEI, organizing clients, times, etc, the weather looked great and I drove 3.5 hours to the Island. As luck would have it, my gear failed. So home I went the same night, very, very disappointed. Upon getting home, I emailed all my clients to tell them what happened. As soon as she got the message, Laura phoned me and offered for me to use her camera- that it wasn’t as fancy as she was sure mine was, but that she had a digital SLR and would be glad to loan it to me for the weekend- unfortunately, it was a Nikon camera and I shoot Canon, so it didn’t materialize. I was SO touched that she’d call me at midnight to offer her personal camera to a complete stranger. I shouldn’t have been surprised though, as I’d have done the same thing. As I said, people seek out important similarities among one another and then stick with those people. They’re on your team and you’re on theirs.
Months later, I get a simple email from Laura. I could almost see her holding her breath when she pressed the send button. She informed me that she was getting married in December. She apologized for the short notice (she sent me the email at the beginning of September), but she loved my work and was wondering if I’d be interested in shooting her wedding… IN MEXICO.
I remember giggling out loud and breathing deeply so that my reply to her wasn’t just EEEEEEK!!! YESSSS!!! I mean, come on, I had to be…professional? or something? So I wrote back, and we discussed details, and it was decided. I was going to Mexico. Tulum to be exact. December 13-20th, 2010. It was written on the calendar- and on the fridge, and my phone had a “countdown to Mexico” alert everyday. To hell with being professional. This was EXCITING!!
We left December 13th, at 6am. It was POURING. From there, we made it to Toronto where it was FREEZING and we were delayed because all of the planes had to be de-iced. Every single social skill I’d acquired in my 26 years was put to the test on this trip. It’s harder than you’d think jumping into a group of people who all know each other and you’re the clearly labeled outsider (and by clearly labeled, I mean, who else has a giant camera, in front, behind, beside you, showing up out of nowhere and then disappearing with barely a word?). By the end of the week though, we were all so close. I made great, fantastic friends, and memories that I’ll tell my grandkids about, I’m sure. I’m positive (like actually weighed myself) that I gained 6lbs in a week. I got a killer tan (and didn’t burn once!) I also documented every little thing about the trip- you know, being the photographer and all.
Most of all, I gained confidence and affirmation that my concept of good things=good things was a real one. The people I met, the experiences I had, and the pictures I took couldn’t have come about any other way.
Here’s part 1:
Shortly after the food, the 16 hours of traveling caught up with me. I went straight to bed.