As a Cleveland Ohio photographer, who has been primarily focused on wedding photography, there are a lot of things that are necessary in order to be successful. Top of the line photographic equipment supply me with the tools that are necessary for me to fulfill my artistic vision for my clients. A computer, like the one that I am using now, enables me to, not only archive and edit those wedding pictures, but also stay connected with my clients. I could list many, many things that are necessary in order to run a photography business. But an event happened this week that put all of this into perspective and made all of the other things that I need seem less important. Loss of electricity.
This past Thursday, I was on my way to the Thursday Therapy group monthly get together at the offices of Selective Sound Entertainment, one of my favored dj companies in Cleveland. TT is a networking group of Cleveland wedding professionals that meets monthly. On my way to the event, it was raining and miserable. When I left about two hours later is was a blizzard and half of Cleveland had lost power, including my neighborhood. This normally would be something that could be handled, but considering that I have a 16 month old at home and temperatures were dipping below freezing, this escalated very quickly.
The first thing that we needed to do was make sure that our son was comfortable until we could get him to his grandma’s house in Akron where is was safe and warm. Next I had to make sure that I was ready for a photo session at Crop Bistro that I had arranged weeks in advance. Luckily, as is my standard practice, I was prepared two days before my session.
For photo sessions and weddings, I alway prep my equipment, format my cards and, most importantly in this situation, charge all of my batteries. This consists of 5 camera batteries, 26 rechargeable AA batteries for my portable flash, and, for this session, 3 battery packs for a constant light source that I felt would work nicely for pictures in Crop Bistro.
My practice of prepping early was always to prepare for the unexpected. As a Cleveland wedding photographer for the past 18 years, I’ve come to learn that anything can happen. Losing electricity is always one of those possibilities but not one that I’ve experienced until this weekend. Thank goodness I didn’t have a wedding but I still would have been ready for it. This is a valuable lesson for me as a professional photographer. Not only being prepared but being prepared in advance ensures that I will never have to miss a commitment due to…well…lack of preparedness. This could be a killer for a wedding photographer.
Photographing weddings isn’t something that can be rescheduled or redone. Couples plan their wedding days, oftentimes 12-18 months in advance or more. A wedding photographer has to be ready for their day regardless of what is going on. This is the thing that I love about wedding photography. Or, at least, one of the things. The pressure of knowing that you HAVE to get it right on that day and you can’t redo it keeps me focused. I love it.
But not having electricity is not fun. I don’t love that. Especially when the indoor temperature of your house reaches 43 degrees, which is where it was before I left this morning. Thank goodness for Panera, House of Blues and Pour Cleveland where I am spending my electricity-less day today (I am writing this from Pour Cleveland).
So my lesson of the week is keep your batteries charged (with electricity and coffee) 🙂