There is one obvious thing that every photographer should have tucked under their arm when walking out the door to a shoot. Yes, that would be a camera.
And, as I pulled into Hemlock Ravine to meet Cindy + Mike and was excitedly thinking about grandiose wide angle shots with tall, sweeping trees, what realization do you think punched me in the stomach?
I forgot my camera. I had a bag full of lenses but... no camera.
I know! How in the world does a photographer do that? Forget your camera?! It's like walking outside to go for a run and realizing you're still in bare feet, or putting milk and sugar in a steaming cup of hot water and as you take a sip - whoops! No tea bag.
How I managed to do this still confounds me. I've been feeling so happy and grateful about how the bigger picture pieces of my life have finally been falling into place that apparently I was becoming careless about the details... you know, like bringing my camera to an engagement shoot.
Cindy + Mike were such good sports. Mike immediately shared a story about he and friend drove two hours and then hiked one hour into the woods to go fishing only to discover his friend forgot his fishing pole (thank goodness I'm not the only one!). Mike saved the day by lending his back-up fishing rod to his friend.
Luckily, Cindy is a photographer as well who just so happens to have the good sense to shoot Nikon and was smart enough to bring her own camera to her own engagement shoot - basically saving the day. What a relief!
But of course, for the first little bit I was thrown. My camera is an extension of me and I reflexively switch aperture, shutter speed, and ISO without even realizing I'm doing it sometimes. To have to stop, look at the controls, compose through a different viewfinder... I wouldn't say I was terrified but I will definitely admit to unsettled.
So it was a great relief to see that despite using somewhat unfamiliar tools, I was still able to get a few fantastic shots of Cindy + Mike. In the end, I learned two lessons with the obvious one being don't forget your camera! The second one is it's not because of my gear that I get great images, it's because of me and the wonderful people I work with. A fancy-pants camera enables but doesn't create.
ANYway, enough about me. Cindy, along with being a photographer, is also an herbalist. Mike works in forestry. Between the wee plants on the forest floor and tallest trees, they pretty much know everything. It was a pleasure to spend an hour tromping about the woods with them and listen to them talk about what's what and why. To top it off, these two have an unmistakable bond that made my job (even without my camera!) pretty darn easy. Can't wait for the wedding you two!