‘If you don’t know what you’re doing you can ruin the photographic record that the family expected you to produce for them. That could lose us a lot of goodwill. Are you with me?’
‘Of course I am,’ she said, ‘that’s why I suggested what I did. People want a professional job doing. If we can offer that with confidence, it could snowball – even in these days of smartphone cameras. Word of mouth recommendations are gold dust.’
‘Can you offer that with confidence, Mel?’ he asked, ‘I’ve seen your landscapes and some of your portraits in your portfolio, but weddings – isn’t that a lot riskier. You can pretty well guarantee conditions in a studio setting with proper lighting can’t you? But what about outdoors?’ He looked at her, checking that she was with him.
‘I can see what you’re worried about, Tony,’ she assured him. ‘And you’re absolutely right. Wedding photography has unknowns – like the weather, the light inside a church or licenced building, babies not smiling on cue or guests who need to be herded into posing nicely.’
‘So, you see my point?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ she agreed, ‘and that’s just the start. Wedding Photography has changed dramatically even in the past ten years or so from what I’ve read. Increasingly, families want a proper video record, and, at the top end, they expect drone photographs of key parts. Weddings would probably be best left to specialist operators who have a couple of technicians working with the stills photographer.’
He breathed a sigh of relief.
‘That is one big load off my mind, Mel,’ he said. ‘I was expecting that you’d want to argue me into agreement.’
She laughed, ‘I’m not stupid, Tony – a challenge is one thing but risking someone else’s profits is quite another.’
‘Right!’ he said, pleased to have had that concession ceded so easily, ‘Now let’s see what can be done, in practical terms, about some of your other ideas.’
They discussed aspects such as modifications to provide a room for a studio and the purchase of lighting, props and backdrops. He said that he’d discussed some of that with Jamie already, but he’d like her input on the choice of specific equipment requirements.
She even understood that Tony wanted the new arrangements to begin in the following Spring to allow time for getting everything in place – partitioning off a dedicated area for her studio work, electrics for lighting – so many things to consider!
One of the most expensive pieces of equipment she’d requested was one that Tony hadn’t thought of. She asked for a professional laser printer capable of prints up to 24 by 100 inches, but agreed that anything above A3 size – which would be an exceptional requirement – should be outsourced to a professional laboratory, together with anything requiring canvas or metal printing.
Mel accepted that she couldn’t justify the additional capital cost or the extra space that would be needed for anything other than that. She also agreed to using an outside firm for framing needs.
She left Tony with his spreadsheets soon afterwards and returned to the shopfloor her mind buzzing excitedly – an unexpected bonus to spend and a welcome change to her role. Tony had told her that Jamie would be replacing her ID lanyard description to read, “Mel Harrington, Professional Photographer’. That had been a real morale boost for her – more so than the bonus in many ways.
When she walked back into the shopfloor, she saw that Marcus was busy with a customer and that there were a couple of people waiting for attention. She went across to talk to them before they got fed-up of waiting and walked out.
Later, when she had a chance to be alone with Jamie, she went up to where he was working and thumped him on his upper arm. He looked up from the plans he’d been making for the next Group outing.
‘You slyboots you!’ she said, ‘You knew what your dad wanted, didn’t you?’
More of Liverpool. I said that I’d intended to do try my hand at street photography. I did manage to bring back a few shots. Today’s photo is of some food delivery couriers – presumably waiting for orders.
For all the street shots, I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera twinned with a Pentax 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 mm lens at an ISO of 100. The EXIF data for this photo were 1/15 secs @ f/9and 18 mm.