How it all went down.

So I’m trying to practice the mantra: Feel the fear and do it anyway.  I’m a bit afraid to do what I’m about to do and share my processes (neuroses), but here goes the so-called anyway.

Ever since I found out I made it into The Great Engagement Shoot, I became a scribbly ball of nerves.  My hands trembled.  My palms went perma-clam.  I smiled extra wide.

During the shoot, I felt natural.  My shoulders eased and I ‘just had fun’ like everyone told me to.  I could see the other photographers, with their balloons and umbrellas and big cameras and bigger lenses — and I still felt fine with what I had.

I told myself: This is how I do. And I was fine.

But when it came to the editing, I needed help.  I was unsure and uncertain.  But with the minutes ticking away, I didn’t have time to run out and seek a second opinion.  I even thought about asking another photographer for theirs but decided against it.

In the end, I impulsively went with a safe choice and went for something that my couple (who I had just met and had no idea what their tastes were) might like.  Because I didn’t know what else to do.

And in those moments is where I think I went astray.

It’s not that I don’t like the shot because I do.

What I didn’t like is how I didn’t want to tell anyone which shot was mine.

But now I’ll let you be the judge.  Here’s the story.

_________________________________

Meet David and Lindsay

David and Lindsay are a lovely lovely couple.  Very nice and very funny.

And to my delight, totally spontaneous and open to whatever half-witted suggestion I threw out at them.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that, wow, these two people are in love.

And they were willing to run and jump and skip along Queen St like teenagers.

David kept saying they weren’t naturals at this — but it didn’t look like it to me.

They laughed and smiled biggest when they were looking at each other.  It was really beautiful to see.

By this time, my minutes were slipping away.  I had allotted myself 20 minutes to shoot and, at the 20 mark, we started to head back.  Not feeling like I had enough, I continued to shoot.  More “safe” shots, thinking I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know did I get it?  Did I?  Did I?  Shoot more shoot more.  Okay what else, let’s try this…


Right before heading in to do the post-production in the 20-odd minutes I had left, I shot this:

And this is the shot I entered.

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5 Responses to “How it all went down.”


  1. 1 Elena April 29, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    You did a great job Michelle! All images are great, but I LOVE the running shot the best! Amazing!

  2. 2 a cuppa tee April 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Michelle – Thank you for sharing this story! I actually read this post first, then the “End Result.” I concur with everyone else… Great job! I certainly would have had a difficult time picking the one to enter. I appreciate how hard it can be to pick one’s fave versus what the client/audience will prefer.

    Avec ou sans… Félicitations !

  3. 3 JZ April 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    My fave is the second shot in this post. It looks the least staged and has such genuine emotion on both of their faces.

  4. 4 ruthtamari April 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Beautiful shots Michelle – their love and adoration jump out of your photos! And thanks for exposing your pictures and sharing your courage 🙂

  5. 5 Michelle April 29, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Great shots Michelle 🙂 The running shot is really sweet.


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