Wrapping up my first freelance Magazine shoot.

I turned in my first freelance magazine shoot yesterday. I was nervous the whole time I was shooting. I worried over lens choices, lighting and composition…I worried about providing the look and style they prefer. “Is this right, do they need more crop room? Should this be vertical? Do I need more overall shots? More details”?

 I don’t know why I worried. I shot week-in-week-out  for 24 years for Southern Living. That works out to be about 288 issues, half the magazine’s existence. In that time I probably shot 288 major travel features and untold number of smaller stories. But if I’m honest I have to admit I worried about each one of those too. Fear of failure is a great motivator. Going out alone week in and week out as a one-man-band puts a lot of pressure on a shooter. Every problem, every idea, every worry runs on an endless loop through your mind. Is this right? Is this what they want? Can I make this better? Is this the best way to shoot this? What am I missing? 

So maybe the nervousness over the shoot for Birmingham Magazine is just me, just the way I am and will always be. But in the freelance world if you don’t get it right they don’t call you back. I want to be called back. 

The assignment was for Birmingham Magazine and their annual Parents Choice Awards. The story runs in May and goes to press shortly. I don’t dare upstage them by telling who won but each place I shot sure seemed like a winner to me. I worked with wonderful people at every location. It was a pleasure to tell people who I was shooting for and have them all react so positively. 

I think they will call back.

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so many experiences to re-live

On the road every week for 24 years I was privileged to meet so many great people and enjoy so many experiences. Though most things I shot ran in the magazine the edits were often very tight. Some stories didn’t work out for reasons beyond my control.

Going back through files the past couple months has be rewarding and humbling too. There were many shoots I thought were ok at the time but looking back just feel flat. Others have a wealth of images in them I still love but never made print for lack of space. Each file I open brings back the people, sounds, successes. failures, travails and experiences.

One of my favorites was a story on how music is helping preserve the ‘cajun’ french in Southwest Louisiana. I love the area, the people, the music and the food. I got to hang out with some great musicians including Marc, Ann and Joel Savoy, all extraordinarily talented but also wonderful in the many ways they give back to the area.  I also spend time at the home of Christine Balfa and Dirk Powell and their two beautiful children. Unfortunately they’re no longer together. In fact their photos were a large part of the story and between the shoot and going to print they split. It had an impact on how the story played in the magazine.

I worked with one of the best writers and nicest people ever in Valerie Luesse. We drove all over Bayou Country in Pearl, her white Cadillac. We hit dance halls like the great Whirlybird and we went out with a local conservationist pre-dawn into a Virgin Mangrove forested lake for sunrise and did a little crabbing on the way back in 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0052web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0057web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0059web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0078web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0107web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0210web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0211-2web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0255web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0275web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0309web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0358web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0421web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0433web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0443-2web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0477web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0495web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0611web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0771web 7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi0871web 15-7357_8786_DiscovertheRealAcadi1217-copy-2. And of course we had our share of local cuisine. I might have had more than my share.