Tuesday, February 10, 2009


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Thanks Bryan

Monday, February 09, 2009

So you want to be a freelance photographer?

Ok so it’s been over a week since I’ve posted. Last week was crazy and I just never seemed to make time to fit in blog posting. I didn’t shoot too much but when I did I was off and running. Here is an example with the assignment to get the chef photo.

It was a Tuesday and I was working on a wedding book. I got a call from the News somewhere between noon and 1:00. Can I go shoot a chef at a restaurant cooking on a grill showing a bunch of flames? Ah yes, I think, let me call you back in 10 minutes. Ok, so my kids are in school. One has to be picked up at 3:30 and one at 4:30 which I normally do since my wife doesn’t get home from work until 5:30. But on this day she was at the doctor because she was real sick and felt like death. So I call her first to see how it was going, no answer. So I don’t know if she can pick up my daughter at 3:30. Plus if she is feeling really bad I don’t want her to have to watch the kids. Taking care of young kids when you are sick is no fun.

Ok, I call my mother in law. She said she could come up but had some errands to run as well. Ok then I thought of another idea, so I will call her back. Our neighbor also picks her son up at 3:30 at the same school as my daughter. So I call to ask if she can get my daughter, she can. Ok one down.

So I will get my son at 4:30-4:45. Doesn’t give me much time to shoot but I have no other option right now. I called my mother-in-law back and told her she didn’t need to come up, it’s an hour drive for her.

Now, call the News back, yes I can shoot. When do you need the photo? They need it by 6:00-7:00 PM. OK! So its now around 1:00 I think. I need to leave by 2:45 or so to get to the assignment.

I get my gear packed up and try to finish up some of the wedding book. Oh crap, what about dinner for the kids. I don’t want my wife to cook or the neighbors to have to feed them. I’ll stop for pizza.

Now my wife walks in the door and it turns out she has pneumonia. Ugh!

I need to go get her prescription filled and a couple other things. So I’m off to the Target Pharmacy. I’m there about 1:50 and the pharmacy is closed until 2:00 for lunch! So I go get the other things and then wait. They say it will take 15-20 minutes. So I wait more. Then they tell me they are to busy to ring up my other things. Ok, I’ll pay for the script here, and then go to the front to pay for the rest. I then run the medicine home for my wife who is in bed and feeling terrible. I’m back out the door a little before 3:00.

I get to the restaurant, find a parking spot, grab my gear and get in about 3:30. So I have about a ½ hour to figure out where to shoot, set up lights, shoot some test shots, shoot, tear down and get out of there to get my son. I know I want to shoot several shots because you never know exactly what the fire will do. I also shoot extra in case the strobes don’t fire every time, which they didn’t.

So I shoot, get packed up and get back to the car at around 4:05. Ok, the freeway will be all backed up so I need to go another route.

After what seemed to take forever I get my son around 4:40. We stop and pick up pizza, drive home and walk over to the neighbors where my daughter is so everyone can eat. It’s about 5:10 at they have to leave by 5:50 for a class. So we eat and head home. I tell the kids they need to be real quiet because mom is sleeping but they can watch the rest of a movie they started the night before.

So I upload photos to the computer and start editing. The one shown here was the frame I liked best but there were a few others that worked ok yet nothing I really liked a lot so I would send them several to choose from.

But of course now my computer is running real slow and I have to reboot. It’s around 6:30; I need to get these photos to them. The kids are jumping and yelling and I have to keep stopping to go tell them to please be quiet so they didn’t wake up my wife. My blood pressure is up. So I get several images to the paper by around 6:45 and I now have to get my kids ready for bed, read to them and maybe get some dinner myself.

I was stressed out!

So you see taking the photo is the easy part of being a freelance photographer. It’s not this crazy everyday but I do get last minute calls and the craziness happens more then you would think.