This is part of my Forever Grateful project.
As I was selling my home and placing my business on hiatus for a period of time, I took portraits of about 30 people who influenced my career over the past 12 years. This was my way of saying “Thanks” and letting everyone know that I couldn’t have done it without their support.
Like many young boys, I wanted to be like my father. From the get go, I was fascinated with your cameras.
And when I was learning handwriting in elementary school, we were asked to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up and I wrote. “I want to be a photographer.”
But growing up the son of a photographer meant I was used to being in front of the camera all the time. I think this led me to believe that I should be an actor. I mean, I must be so handsome and the camera must like me if this photographer wants to keep taking pictures of me, right? Once I figured out how wrong I was, I got back behind the camera and followed in your footsteps.
When I first started my headshot business, you came for a visit. We went to Michaels and bought a small styrofoam egg. You pushed two dents into the egg where a person’s eyes would be. You stuck that egg on a pen and held it out and moved it around in different directions. You said “Do you see how the light and the shadows change on the egg?” This is how you taught me to see light.
And from being with you on shoots over the years, I was able to steal some of the things you said to make your clients laugh like:
Portrait Shoot Scenario:
Floyd – “Do you have any kids?”
Client – “Yes, 3, John, Suzie, & Samantha?”
Floyd – “Which one is your favorite?”
Client – “What?” smiles “I can’t pick a favorite!”
Floyd – No, but I got you to smile.
Wedding Scenario – Family Photos:
Floyd – “Okay, let’s gather together. Mother of the bride, come in closer. Father of the bride, can you put your hand around your wife’s waist?”
-Father of the bride follows along.
Floyd “a little lower…. A little lower… okay now, pinch your wife’s butt.”
Everyone – Laughs
Floyd “Okay everyone, now move in tight and pretend like you love one another.”
Everyone – Laughs
Simple, easy, cheesy laughs, but you got them… and they worked for me time and time again.
Though I have learned many things over the 12 years of running my business, it was you who inspired me to become a photographer and you gave me an upper hand with all that I learned just by watching you work.
The Story Behind the Shoot:
We walked to a beach just south of Santa Cruz where we happened upon a field of Brussel Sprouts. My father hates Brussel Sprouts, but it did make a pretty backdrop for our photos.
This is what the styrofoam egg looked like that he used to teach me how to see light.
Brussel sprouts for miles and miles…
He’s always taking pictures…
And finally, one from the start of our road trip… stargazing.