The In-Between Story

If you haven’t already listened to the Photography Tips HQ podcast featuring Futcher Fotos, check it out here: pthq-podcast-episode-13

Interviewing for this podcast was both exciting and nerve-wracking. And, of course, as soon as the interview was over, our minds were filled with things we should have said. Nevertheless, listening to it again several weeks after the actual interview, I found myself becoming re-inspired as we move forward with our business ventures.

In this blog, however, I’d like to share a bit of the in-between story that I left out as I was being asked about my photography background. The story I told in the interview took me straight from having a less-than-successful photography class experience to helping my husband start a photography business. There’s more than 20 years in between those two parts of the story, and I did have a couple experiences during that time that encouraged me in the direction of photography. As Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.

After graduating from college, I went to work in the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, in a building that housed more than 800 employees. Shortly after joining (when I still barely knew anybody), I was asked if I wanted to photograph the employee picnic. Not being particularly comfortable mingling with strangers but still wanting to attend and have a chance to get to know people, I was happy to have a role that would keep me occupied without feeling socially awkward.

I particularly enjoyed photographing the kids at the picnic, and when the pictures were developed, there were a couple pictures I chose for the employee newsletter. One was of a girl jumping through a puddle, and the other–which I particularly loved–was of two sisters with balloon hats eating cotton candy with the help of their grandmother. The picture was so colorful that I almost hated using it in a black-and-white publication. Nevertheless, I ran both of those pictures and got some nice feedback–particularly from one coworker who felt I should enter them in a photography contest. Still feeling I was an inadequate photographer after my class experience, I shrugged that compliment off–but it did help me gain more confidence as I continued taking pictures as part of my job.

By the way, those two girls with the balloon hats ended up being flower girls in my wedding. I hadn’t met my husband yet, but these were children of one of his best friends.

Leaving that position, I worked for several years in jobs where I didn’t have to think about photography, except maybe to hire a photographer here and there. Then in my most recent job, I was an editor for a university alumni magazine. Student photographers took most of the photos that went into our magazines, and I found myself having very specific ideas of how the photos should turn out–so specific that I when I could I started accompanying the photographers on their photo shoots so I could direct them. Little did I know this role would be a big part of the next phase of my career.

While Rob is the one who’s usually behind the camera in our business, I’m often to the side, posing subjects and giving feedback. It’s a good fit for me. I’m not as comfortable with the technical side of taking pictures–but Rob’s got that part covered. But I love directing people (I was a drama director for several years), and I love being a part of creating the picture.

And so, despite having a difficult Intro to Photography (that was literally the name of the class), it turns out that life experience gave me my niche in this field.

 

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