A Portrait Photographer One Day At A Time
The day is about to start. The election is over and we have a new President. I have no time to react, I’m working as I do most weekends. I’m already exhausted from shooting some sports portraits. All I can think about is “how will I make it through the next 6 sessions a high fashion portrait session and then still prepare for the next day’s fashion editorial photoshoot?”
The 24 hours begin
Hour 1: I knew I’d be hungry so I ordered food ahead of my scheduled portraits. Lucky for me, Panera was having a buy one get one flatbread pizza. I love chipotle chicken and went with that option. I knew I could share or save any leftovers, that’s exactly what I did.
Hour 3: One of the portrait appointments was rescheduled. I finally let the election results sink in.
I cried…of happiness.
Hour 5: I get through all of the sports portraits, phew. I change my studio set-up to accommodate a high fashion photoshoot, move some lights around, change the green backdrop to a more fashionable one, and rearrange the lighting. Then, I eat more flatbread pizza and finish one of the two.
Hour 7: The crew arrives. Model, Stylist, and Hair and Make-up all take their places. We’re doing 3 looks. I’m super excited for the final results. Keep checking my New Work page to see when they get posted.
Hour 10: The photoshoot ends. WOOHOO!!! I need a drink, but I don’t because I want to go home eat my other flatbread pizza and sleep.
Hour 12: I’m full and happy and tired. I crawl into my bed and swiftly fall asleep. Not before feeling a slight itch in my eye. I don’t think much of it.
Hour 15: I’m trying to sleep, but mostly tossing and turning. I never think I’m nervous or anxious before photoshoots, but honestly, my stomach is always in knots the day before or the morning of a photoshoot. I always try to blame it on something I ate but really I just want to make sure I do a good job.
All in all, I do get some sleep
Hour 17: I wake-up and my eye is still itchy (my right eye), only now it feels puffy…”OH NO!” I run to the mirror, it’s swollen. The swelling is in the corner of the eye and under it. No way I’m rescheduling these portraits, unuh!! I take some allergy meds and continue getting ready.
Hour 18: My daughter has to get ready for softball games. My kid makes fun of my eye. I’ll have to miss her games this weekend for work. It’s the last ones scheduled for the Fall season and I hate to miss them, but winter season will be here before we know it. I wish her good luck and part ways.
Hour 20: I make it to the studio and I unwrap a customized backdrop that was just delivered, yes you heard correctly made special for me. A new friend made it and it’s beautiful. If you’re looking for a custom painted backdrop Matt Wronksi is your person!
Hour 21: So I decided to test the backdrop. I use a mannequin but not entirely happy with my test subject. So I decide maybe I can do some self-portraits. I really wanted to share how gorgeous the backdrop is even if my photos aren’t great. And honestly, I don’t ever love photos of myself, but I tried to have fun doing it. The whole time considering how my portrait clients might feel and what directions would best work to help create beautiful photos of them.
You see my swollen eye…yea that’s the allergic reaction. No more chipotle chicken flatbreads for me.
Hour 23: Here we are the home stretch for the fashion editorial we’re shooting outdoors in the west loop, my studio’s neighborhood.
Hour 24: My phone rings, I buzz in the crew and quickly get to work.
I hope this shows you how regular a photography job is. Twenty Four hours is simply a glimpse. We take portraits in fashion, sports, families, weddings but snapping the photo isn’t the most work we do, our biggest task is everything before and after. It’s the maintenance, the editing, and the relationships.