Many years ago, a photographer/mentor told me a story about how he had the opportunity to shoot a wedding on a cruise ship. He was really excited about it and fully confident that he would knock it out of the park. When the big day arrived, he stepped on board and took some time to hang out and relax. When it was time to prepare for the wedding, he went to get his camera only to find he had left it at home. The ship had already sailed and there was no turning back. Sick to his stomach, he found that the bride and groom had purchased a bunch of cheap, disposable cameras for their guests to use at the reception. In desperation, he ran around and collected every single disposable camera and shot the entire wedding with them. The point of his story was to teach that a camera doesn’t make a good photographer, the person does. He was still able to shoot the wedding and do a great job, even with cheap, disposable cameras. But this story horrified me to the core. I mean… he forgot his camera! That is one of my worst nightmares — worse than that would be dropping my expensive gear in the ocean!
Many years later, in October 2016, I arrived on location, ready to shoot a family session. However, when I went to grab my camera bag, it wasn’t there! I freaked! Thankfully, I was on land and only about 12 minutes away from my house where I left my bag. But it left me feeling rushed and panicked and really, really stupid! I would like to say with confidence that it will never happen again, but I’m afraid to make that a promise.
Once I had my camera in my possession and recomposed myself, we were ready to get started. The Underwoods were very patient and understanding and sweet. It was a beautiful, Fall afternoon. We walked around the Benton Harbor Arts district, stopped at their favorite Gelato place, and walked around some more. Not a bad ending to what could have been an utter fail.