Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it.
As many of you know, I proudly serve in the United States Army Reserves. SFC Murray asked me during drill one day last year if I wanted to be a team leader or our unit’s photographer. Without hesitation I chose photographer. I immediately started hauling lenses, filters and various diffusers with my gear each month. I learned quite a bit shooting with this unit; I will forever be indebted to SFC Murray and the soldiers of the 808 Eng. Co.
I am self-taught, though I love to fumble with settings and lighting, both natural and artificial, I do read and search the internet for instructions. One day, I decided to play with aperture and I snapped a photo of a battle buddy named Taylor.
This picture was shot as is and all I did was play with the clarity and contrast; it is still to this day 1 of my favorites. He was newly married at the time and easily a soldier you would want by your side in combat.
Many professional photographers often speak of their best photos being complete accidents, I agree. This was a happy accident. I can now duplicate this look. I will always prefer gritty, high contrast edits that feel 3D, but this is a look and feel that I do like.
Settings and lighting aside, another photo shoot, one of my favorites to date was of a friend and personal trainer named Jessica Tyler. We literally jumped in her truck and said let’s go find a place. Though, for clients I do not know I will meet and plan out outfits, locations and sometimes even poses in advance, this was an exception. She brought along a country inspired outfit. We drove for maybe 5 minutes before we found an abandoned old small country house.
The sun was also quite lovely that day. This photo shoot was a success for many reasons; I will share some of it with you in future blogs.
I think photography and life can teach you and I that life can be beautiful if you view it with an open mind and just take it as it comes. Embrace the pleasant accidents.