Every photographer, once in a while, is faced with the nearly impossible
job. The one job that comes when you least expect it. It is the kind of
job that requires mindless thinking and a heart as big as all outdoors.
Yesterday, was my nearly impossible job. The time was 8:30 a.m. and I was
enjoying my breakfast time talking with Tammy, my wife, about things of
life when the phone rings. On the other end of the line was a mom who at
the last minute decided to give as a birthday gift to her fianc? a portrait
of her and their daughter. I asked her when his birthday was and she said
today! I then asked her when she needed the final portrait. Today!
At that moment I had to make a decision. Do I say, no I can't possibly get it done in one day. Do I say, I will, but it won't be done until next week and comes with a 100% rush charge attached to the final bill. Or, do I say, I think I can do it? Well, I guess I felt up to the challenge. My heart went out to her and I decided to take the challenge of completing the work by that afternoon.
How can this be done, you say? It was not easy, but, many years ago I decided that I wanted to understand all of the jobs associated with the photographic process. Not just the shooting, but the processing of the film and the printing of the images. In my understanding of the term "Professional Photographer", I believed that somewhere in the making of the job description that film processing and printing were essential prerequisites to fully understand the profession.
As the mom was driving to my studio, I mixed film developer and turned on my Kreonite color processor. She arrived at 10:00 a.m. and I was in the process of setting up the studio. By 12:00p.m. the shoot was complete. At 1:30 p.m. we were looking at contact sheets. And by 3:30p.m. she was leaving my studio with the final 16x20 portrait and heading for the frame shop!
Will she ever know the near impossible feat that was accomplished that day for her? I don't know. What I do know is that this job was a reminder to me of what can be accomplished when you let your heart guide you and not the dollars and cents of the brain. She gave her fianc? a true gift of love. I, on the other hand, assisted in turning her idea into a gift come true. --- A somewhat small reminder for those of us who want to be know as dream makers.