Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Thoughts: Working Together is Awesome

Awhile ago I finished up a couple of very lengthy and head-banging-up-against-the-proverbial-wall frustrating photo shoots for the other blog. I started with the ideas ages ago, and it was a one thing after another situation where I was trying to make things work the way I wanted them to without the proper resources. I can be difficult that way :) I live in a small town where time moves very slowly and people's priorities are very different than those living in the rat race (read we don't stress the small stuff as much). Normally this is so not an issue for me. But when I try to take the thing that I used to do as a city girl and translate it to the "today me" there are some funny things that come up. Like, say, impatience. I realized that what I needed was a good team.

Heather's eldest daughter, Skye

It happened in a very haphazard and organic way but I found a group that consisted of a few brilliant vendors and a few general keeners. Good balance. The photographer Heather, is pulling together pieces of her portfolio that are outside her comfort zone, and could have been a disaster to work with. She is really sweet and lovely on a day to day basis, but those can sometimes be the people who come out of their nice and into their nasty when you try to work together on unfamiliar territory.  Turns out that not only is she brilliant, but that her daughters all make great models as well :)

The goodie makers are a British couple, Becca and Stephen, who had their mother (in law) staying with them for two weeks from the UK and the first (pink) photo shoot was literally the last day of her visit, so... well... yeah. Tension. But the making of gorgeous and incredibly yummy confections turned out to be therapeutic maybe, because they came through with flying colours... pink, white and red to be exact :) They also helped set a gorgeous table and save my precious belongings when the sky opened up and poured rain down on all of the antique and vintage treasures. (Thank you for carrying the mirror, Stephen!)

the pink shoot
the all soul's shoot

The florist I had never met in person, face to face. She and I have used Facebook (of course) to hash out details and I have never done such good business with somebody that way before. This girl is uber talented and a total sweetheart! When I say talented, I mean the conversation for the second shoot went a bit like this. "I am thinking of doing a kind of goth but not creepy photoshoot of a wedding, but not a real wedding that will be mostly shot in the graveyard AND my garden, and it may be gray and red, or purple and ivory... or both... can you do flowers for that?" And she came up with exactly the perfect thing.

The models were one of those "laugh later" situations. It took me forever to decide on the perfect bride for the first shoot, who then disappeared the day before without a trace (she moved house and couldn't contact us without phone or internet we found out later) so we nixed the bride entirely... which kind of makes the tie in with a wedding blog... er... difficult. When I couldn't get hold of her for her dress fitting, I panicked.

Again, enter Facebook. A woman my mother works with sent me a friend request while I was trolling through my list of people trying to find a replacement. I remembered seeing her with her daughters at the library and asked if she thought they might want to model... They loved the idea, but being eleven at night, it seemed a bit far fetched to start dress fittings in the morning when we were supposed to be doing setup. So they became models for the second shoot...

The pink (still brideless) shoot was all on schedule. The morning of, I called to confirm the wee models... and their mother had been called into work. Ugh. Two of the girls were the photographer's daughters, so I knew we had at least two, but two does not a fabulous tea party make. We went to our location with fingers crossed that the backups we had called in would show up. Somehow, not only did Kate (the mom of the original four girls) show up with her sweet brood of angels, but she also stepped in to be the bride! And what a gorgeous bride she turned out to be :)

There were other small trials (super last minute change of local, major thunderstorm, etc.), well, not so small... but I think this list pretty much describes what I am getting at here. The bottom line is that despite all the drama, stress and eye-rolling, we are ALL happy... more than happy... with how all of the photos turned out. More than that though, the experience of both (well, all three in truth) shoots were all in all positive experiences for everyone involved. Even for the girls that had to spend "an eternity" out in the rain laying on gravestones at dusk in the cold... we all got more out of it than we expected and are all such suckers for punishment that we are willing to do it again. Which means that there may have even been an element of fun in some of it, right? We have found a team that works well together, and asking people who wouldn't necessarily be the first people you would think of, for help... we have all discovered some great raw talent. It has been a great experience for me to realize that sometimes all you have to do is dig a wee bit deeper to find what you are looking for!

If you are interested in how everything turned out and haven't seen them yet, the shoots are here :)
Playing Dressup... (the PINK wee lasses shoot)
After Playing Dressup (the PINK bride shoot)
Not Quite Goth (All Soul's Engagement)
Not Quite Goth (All Soul's Wedding)

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