Last Wednesday morning, I went to Erica's house to do a pregnancy shoot for her. We actually had three locations to shoot at: first at her house, then to a "field/swamp/marsh/jungle/outdoorsy" type area, and finally to my house for the studio shots. She'd already picked out a few images online that she wanted to recreate so we tried to get all of those in. But I still wanted to have a bit of originality in them as well.

Me and all of my mobile studio equipment ready to go.

Sweater: Express 
(my absolute favorite sweater of AAAALLLL time. Expect to see me where it a whoooole lot this Fall/Winter)

Tights: Forever21
(I was surprised to see Kimora Lee Simmons wearing the exact same tights recently. Click >>here<< to see the way she styled them.)

Boots: Express

Teddy Bear Necklace: Forever21
(Since I have so much equipment to carry around, I've found it best to have a minimal approach to my accessories on shoots)

Sunglasses: Accessorize It

All of my shoots so far have been learning experiences. From camera angles, to learning new equipment, to time management. By the end of the shoot, I was exhausted and a bit disheartened. I'd just gotten in the mail, the night before, two new pieces of equipment. Two very essential pieces of equipment. When I tested them out the night before, they worked wonderfully. I was in loooooove with them and made it a point to definitely purchase a couple more from Amazon as they're only about ten bucks a piece but very easily worth twice their weight in gold.

So. I started the shoot at Erica's house using one of them and was very pleased with its performance. By the time we were ending the shoot at my house, they'd both stopped working altogether. And I started to get discouraged. The pieces of equipment were >>NEEWER Digital Slave Flashes<< which are very useful in photography. Particularly if your aim is to get a crisp, clean white backdrop in your photos.

Test shot without NEEWER Digital Slave Flashes. True color of backdrop shown as well as wrinkles, creases, and blemishes on the backdrop.

Test shot using the NEEWER Digital Slave Flashes- notice how white, crisp, and clean the backdrop is above the pillows.

Test shot using the NEEWER Digital Slave Flashes

And mine, after a one day shoot, had stopped working. The particularly baffling part was the fact that they would power on but not fire. This malfunction hit me hard. I'd just the week before approached an acquaintance and offered to shoot some advertisement photos for her business. Photos in which the external flashes and the white background would be a must. She hasn't agreed to let me shoot her yet. Said she'd have to get back to me, but I just begin to feel sick at the thought of how it would be if she came to me and said she wanted to do it. Then I'd have to say, "Oh, I know I offered to do this for you, but as it turns out, I'm not really equipped to. Sorry." Embarrassing. And unprofessional. That is a quick way to muddy your name and business and leave a negative impression amongst other professionals.

For a moment, I started to doubt myself. I admit, I had given myself a special VIP invitation to my own pity party and I was very much in attendance for it. I mean, who was I kidding? I'm not a photographer. I'm not a business woman. I'm not equipped for this. I don't have the funds to buy properly working professional grade equipment. I was just way in over my head. What was I thinking trying to start a photography business with little photography experiences, no background in business, and limited funds and resources? This setback reminded me of my limitations and threw in my face the thought that maybe this just isn't for me. But, God. God is just so good. He quickly brought back to my memory the fact that I had successfully completed a full day's shoot. Ending the day with hundreds of photos. Even after the flashes quit working, I still found a way to get my shot. He reminded me that not everything will be perfect. Nothing everything will be easy. Not everything will just fall in my lap. Sometimes you have to compromise and be creative and troubleshoot. And that is just what I had done. And everything turned out fine. So why, after the shoot, after all the shots were taken, after all the work had already done, was I all of a sudden giving up? It made no sense. I quickly had to end that pity party and realize that people have made requests of me and I still have work to do.

Last Sunday, Pastor preached a sermon saying that everyone, EVERYONE, will have storms in their lives (Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew 14: 22-31). Even had us look at our neighbor, and as their spiritual weatherman/woman say, "Neighbor, a storm is coming." He brought to my attention something I'd never really considered. 

Four reasons why God allows storms in our lives.
  1. Correction
  2. Direction
  3. Protection
  4. Perfection
I'd never really considered a storm for perfection. But that really is sound. I had to take a moment to thank God for being God after the photography mishap. This little setback wasn't actually a destructive storm. One that mentally or spiritually tossed me to and fro but I do believe it was a tiny little rain shower. For my perfection. If I'm ever going to become a great photographer and reach the height that God has for me, I will definitely have to go through a storm cloud or two. It was a tiny bit frightening when I begin to think that in order for me to reach that pinnacle, I had to come to grips with the reality that that was just one of many, many storms I'll have to go through to get me "there". Guess this is now where God is trying to toughen me up and get me to trust in him and trust in the gift he has given me. 'Cause as I've said before, I have work to do.


Let me know what you think! But please be nice. Being negative is just no fun. K?