The most feared sentence a seven year-old can say to a photographer is, “I HATE getting my picture taken and I will NOT smile!” It is bound to happen at least 5000 times over the course of a career. Those were the exact first words that were spoken by Evalina (affectionately named “Lina”) when I met up with her and her mother, Vanessa. I was thrilled and honored to capture this lifestyles session for them. I prepared mentally with visions of this pose, that pose, them acting cute together and smiling through the fields. But all of these visions evaporated from my mind like snow falling on a flame. The first lesson I always tell my photo students is to have a PLAN B! At the conclusion of Lina’s defiant statement, I could hear my former students mockingly whisper, “Alrighty then, McGregor, where’s your PLAN B now?”
But really, how many kids love getting pulled away from their friends, their hobbies or their summer vacations? I would think that number would be South of zero. The best way to prepare for a photo session is to plan it out. But life does not abide by strict rules or follow a game plan, so why should one expect a “lifetyles session” to do the same? One thing to be certain of is Murphy’s Law waiting to toss a monkey-wrench into your bike spokes. Fortunately, I was trained to juggle and ride a unicycle at the same time (metaphorically speaking, of course)!
Reactions on the fly are a must. You really have to be prepared for all kinds of adversity. Otherwise you will have a terrific portrait of a disgruntled mom placing her rebellious, screaming child into a head lock or its equivalent. The more you force a child to smile, act “normal” or straighten up, the more resistance you will encounter. I always find inspiration in literature, and in this instance, I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Khalil Gibran. “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”
Sometimes photography has little to do with taking a picture, but it has everything to do with the art of capturing the human condition. My greatest career achievements are to present original and creative heirlooms that capture the winds of the heavens dancing between you. I can only hope these photos embody that for Vanessa and Lina. http://www.amcgregorphotography.com/
There could be Cold Hard Cash on the table for the Dog Days of Summer! Throughout the summer months, also known as “Wedding Season” for us photographers, it’s often difficult to donate time by taking photos of adoptable pets that need forever homes. So, in an effort to keep helping those pups in need, I’m offering a special Dog Days of Summer promotion. For every dog portrait session booked in August, you will be able to get an original artwork of your beloved pet AND I will donate 20% of the proceeds in your honor to your preferred local animal rescue group. I will also donate 20% of any custom enlargements, specialties and merchandise that you order from your session. It’s a great way for us to contribute to a local animal shelter.
For example, if you book a portrait in the park valued at $65.00 you’ve instantly made a $13.00 donation to your favorite pet shelter! On top of your $13.00 donation, you may decide that you need a museum quality framed 8×10 custom enlargement valued at $175.00 for your picture perfect pet. Your contribution just increased by $35.00, plus the $13.00 totaling a $48.00 donation. What? Your Pug’s personality cannot fit into an 8×10? Maybe they deserve a statement piece over the loveseat, like a 20×24 canvas wrap valued at $225.00. Your donation just jumped to $45. + $13 totaling $58.00! Imagine ten of your animal friends doing this. I am sure your favorite rescue group would love to receive a $580.00 check from you. That can buy a lot of food and supplies!
Every portrait includes a hardbound souvenir keepsake featuring 10 of your favorite photos from the session to keep dear to your heart. You will also have access to low resolution files, downloadable from my website at http://www.amcgregorphotography.com, so you can share your professional pet portrait with your friends and have a super awesome profile pic for all of your social media sites.
If you’ve already made all the donations you can afford this year and you don’t need a work of art of your Fido, please help by sharing this blog with others, it has the potential to really have an impact. To ensure your donation, you only have to book and make a deposit in August. We can schedule the photo session for as late as October 31st. Right now, Biggies Bullies is in the lead for donations. You can also donate to Pet Friends, Inc., Animal Friends of Westmoreland, Orphans of the Storm (no kill Shelter), Western PA Humane Society, Steel City Greyhounds or any other animal non-profit.