Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what's in my bag today!; a recipe; and an explanation of ignorance.

so, i promised to explain why a photographer should never leave home to shoot an event without a backup camera.
and while this may seem like common sense to just about everyone and their brother, so is no texting while driving... we all need a reminder from time to time. every once in a awhile, somebody else's misfortunes will help another. so please, allow me to take one for the team and remind you... It Can Happen To You.

allow me to break down {my near breakdown} how One Very Smart and Somewhat Paranoid [her equipment will break down] Photographer, we will call her...heidi, found herself oooooohhhhhhh nooooooooooooing it with maybe a few more choice words after her camera's. SHUTTER. stopped. working.in. the. middle. of. a...WEDDING!


okay, let me take you back a bit...

it's four days after christmas. it was a lovely christmas, which i haven't blogged about yet! however, about two after the big day and the holiday season of photography sessions almost to an end, i crashed so hard that if my water were to have broken right there on the couch, quite possibly i would labored and given birth to healthy 20 pound baby all while sleeping through the whole thing. i. was. out.

i had been excited about shooting this wedding as i knew it was going to be an intimate affair, which are by the the way, my favorite kind of weddings to shoot!

a few days before and in between sleeping and eating...i charged all batteries, checked flashes, cleaned and packed extra memory cards, dusted lenses, packed my new AWESOME bag, and yes, it is as great as everybody says it it. i packed my second bag with additional lenses, cloth to wipe down lens faces, a bottle of water to stave off dehydration and a small ziploc bag of raw almonds. i included a list of creative ideas i had been inspired to come up with throughout the the last few months and...i felt pretty good except for one thing.

i didn't have a backup camera. i usually do have one when i need one, but this time i didn't because it had stopped working some time earlier. the original plan was that my best friend and amazing photog was going to be with me to shoot the wedding. it was a long ride and i wanted the company, so we thought we would make a day of it. a few hours of shooting and a few hours of playing around the fishing village we were going to be located.

well, i guess this is where i can blame everything on her, LOL! totally kidding. because, she went away on a surprise birthday trip to michigan that weekend and there went my backup camera.

the night before the wedding i had this horrible feeling that something bad was going to happen the next day.

would i get into a car accident?
would my camera break during the wedding?

these were the two thoughts that kept looping through my head all night and day of the wedding.

when i talked to jeff about it...he blew me off. "heidi, you've had a hundred shoots in the last two months and nothings gone wrong. why would it now?" so, maybe i can blame it all on him?!

nah, can't pin it to anybody but me. it was all me. i take it!

his logic did seem to put me at ease. i had had 13 photography sessions in december and even more in november. hadn't had one problem. why would something happen now? at a wedding? smack in the middle of two people's most important day?

so, i carried on with the shoot with the thinking that yes, i should have a backup camera but since i don't, there is no reason to believe that anything will happen today of all days.

i drove an hour to the wedding clutching my wheel as if the tires were going to blow at any moment. when i finally made it to the wedding location, i realized i had been so nervous on the drive up, that my breathing was weird . i finally, let out a long and relieved breath and i said out loud...to myself because i guess i'm crazy like this,

you made it. you are here. you will rock out this wedding. you know what you are doing, now do it! and right after that a simple prayer,

"dear god, thank you for getting me here safely. please, if something bad happens to me today, please see my kids through it and if something bad happens at the wedding today, please see me though it. i love you. amen."

then, i called jeff and kelle and said..."something doesn't feel right."

kelle said, "you will be awesome. you are never like this. promise you will be fine."

i didn't believe her but i carried on and started doing and enjoying my job. the light was beautiful, the bride and groom were in love, and i heard some birds singing in the background. it was a good day. i was in my groove and i FINALLY relaxed. nothing bad was going to happen! i was a freak.


after i completed the first look photos and the ceremony, thank goodness for that, i was smack dab in the middle of taking the family formals.

the handsome groom and his beautiful mother were standing arm in arm, soaking in the moment when...


all i could hear was the horrible sound of a shutter that wouldn't budge. people around me seemed unaware of my near nervous breakdown as i tried several times to revive my lifeless camera. i dropped to the lawn and began CPR on my beloved canon 50d. i tried powering off my unit, changing batteries, memory cards. i think i even kissed it and promised it french fries after the wedding.


when i knew i had to look up and face the confused groom and his mother, i was overcome with fear and guilt.
i started kicking my own butt. it was my fault. i knew better than to not have a working backup. now, i would have to tell them everything was going to be okay, but i didn't know how it was going to be.

i felt the soft, and suddenly cold, damp grass on my knees and realized that all i wanted to do was cry and run away. i quickly recovered. this was their wedding. i had to do something. fix it. make it better. i was heidi darwish photography...memory catcher. it was up to me because they were depending on me. i hoisted my big self off of the ground and calmly walked over to the bride. i explained what was going and i ended it with, "everything is going to be okay. i'm going to figure this out."

she should have slapped me right there, scolded me for being so irresponsible, started crying and told me i ruined her day. the most important day of her life so far. but she didn't...

"oh, it's okay. you know what i'm thinking...thank goodness you got jon and mine's pictures earlier. that's all i care about!" then she flashed me a huge smile and said it was okay.

was she an angel bride? god sent her to me that was all i knew. her understanding and excepting manner only made my mission to save the moment all that stronger.

suddenly, my adrenaline was pumping throughout my body and i could hear my own heartbeat. i saw someone i knew across the lawn...she was a guest at the wedding and also a friend and client of mine...

she just bought an slr camera for christmas, don't know what kind, but i'll ask if she has it. if she doesn't have one, i'll move on to other tactics.

i ran across the lawn...picture hugely pregnant person racing across a field in the florida heat. it couldn't have been a pretty sight.

"leah, do you have your camera with you?"

"yes, but i forgot my battery! why?"

i wilted.

"my camera just stopped working. please, can you grab your camera and let me see if my battery will work in it."
i knew it was not going to work, but i wasn't sure what else to say or do.

she pretty much RAN back to the hotel, grabbed her camera and ran back to me. while i was waiting with her husband, he said it would be okay while he was stirring what looked like to a mojito. it was icy green and i, in my bewildered and desperate state of mind, pregnant too, thought it would be a normal thing to grab the drink out of his hand and begin gulping it down my throat.

no, i didn't do that, but it crossed my mind and that was bad enough.

leah comes back and hands me her camera.

GET THIS...YOU will NEVER believe this....

IT WAS THE SAME CAMERA. it was my camera. a canon 50D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what were the odds of this?

my battery fit, my cards, it was a perfect match. i made out with leah, promised her my next child, and a free photo shoot and ran away with her camera to pick up where i left off with the bride and groom.

i had an hour left of shooting and it went off without a hitch.

can you believe it? my story ended well, but it could have been so. much. worse. i get chills whenever i retell this story and i think it's good to tell it. to remind people, myself what can happen.

also, intuition. listen to yourself. if i had really listened to myself, things may have been different.

we lost about ten minutes of shoot time, but it could have been worse.

i'm pretty sure HE did see me through this.

so... in a nutshell...get a backup camera. if you are shooting any kind of event...it's worth the investment!!!

i have to leave, so i will quickly let you all know what it is in my bag at the moment:

I have a Canon 50 D which will soon be my backup camera as i will be ordering the Canon 5D mark ii or whatever canon decides to come up with in (crossing fingers) march. yes, there are rumors out there that canon is bringing out another camera to replace the 5d mark ii. these are rumors, so if they do not...the Canon 5d it will be because that camera rocks my world. i have shot with it before and it's ahhhhhh maaaaaaa ZING!

my favorite lens evah:
Canon 50mm 1.2 L
(used to have the 1.4 and i LOOOOOVED it)

LOVE. super buttery bokeh.

up until yesterday, i had the Canon 24-70 L 2.8.
loved it's wide angles but was not happy with the sharpness, so i am shopping now for either the

16mm prime lens

or the 16-35mm.

i'll let you know which one i go with.

last lens:

so, let me just conclude that i didn't start out with l series lenses. i worked my way up. when i started making money, consistent money, i would save to buy for a lens that i wanted. i have sold lenses that i no longer use and made up some of the money that way too.

i started with a 50mm 1.8 and worked up to a 50mm 1.4. if i had a little money to spend and wanted to practice shooting and yield good results, then the 50mm 1.4 is like the best bang for your buck!

i have to run, but if you have any questions, email me at heididarwish@gmail.com and if i can help out...i will!

and because i am wanting to post some photos of my babies and i don't have time because i have a baby appointment, here is one...

shot with my little point and shoot camera!

and here is one of Tagalong:
at 31 weeks!


happy shooting!

oh and the recipe for my citrus rolls that i have been asked for, i posted last year. here is the link...enjoy!



rebecca said...

That truly is a crazy photographer nightmare come true! Isn't it nice when big Angels look out for you?!! :)

Beautiful pictures, as usual ;)


Sian said...

lol Heidi even though I dont know you in real life I like you so much. Im am so the same, I get nervous flying, I get nervious driving alone, nervous when doing important stuff. Usually its always fine, Ahh but the panic when something like that happens! A friend has asked me to photograph her wedding next year (im not a professional phtographer) and I feel sick with nerves. But its exciting at the same time. Thanks to you I shall ensure I have a back up Camera!!! xxx

Lisa Hewlett said...

You are so cute. I've shot ONE wedding, and it was without a doubt the most stressful day of my 30 years. Not even MY wedding stressed me out like this. I don't think i'll do another one, so GOOD FOR YOU! You rock at it. Can't wait to see pictures of Tagalong!

Mrs Mason said...

God, the stress! Poor you, good leah, great bride! We learn best from the things we screw up I guess!

Gorgeous pictures. Looking at my own I realise I need to get on a course and learn some skills!

Good luck with the next few weeks x

Sallinger said...

What a roller coaster, I groaned and laughed and cheered out loud. I might be a total freak! :) So glad it ended well. Hey, I prayed for Rockstar parking the other day downtown with 8 kids in my van and GOT THE BEST SPOT...so, I believe He fixes those small (or not so small in your case) things for us daily. Whew!!!!!!! Love your baby bump!

Chanalesings said...

Love love this post~! My sister Rachel Fellig is a photographer (www.rachelfellig.com) and I KNOW this would be her worst nightmare. I love how you broke it down play by play and I was tense until the end. Glad it worked out:)

Shannon said...

Girlfriend. What a wedding!! What a gracious bride! You rocked it, and it worked out!! I am so happy it worked out! I can just imagine you running pregnant & panicked through the grass. Poor girl!!! XOXO

Jannice said...

That IS a funny story - what intuition you had.

I wish you knew you personally...I got my first real camera - nothing big to your standards I'm sure - but I have no idea how to really use it! It was a gift...I went back to the store for a little tutorial - thought I understood what he was saying - but have since forgot it all :) I have tohe two most veautiful subjects - in my girls - but I take some crappy pictures! Guess I'll just keep practicing! Do you have a specific site you download and edit photos to for special effects?

Marian Hazel said...

Yikes Heidi. It must have been a horrible moment. You wrote about it so funnily, it's easy to laugh at the end, but I bet it was anything but at the time!!
I have those awful premonition feelings, I hate it as I worry too much about things that may not happen, I'm working on it as I don't want to live hamstrung by fear.

Karly said...

What a story! So glad it all worked out well, and that the gut feeling was ended up being the camera and not your safety. Love reading your blog! Keep up the great work. I couldn't see any pictures in this post so I will have to come back on another computer and see. :) Have a great week!

g and r said...

Hi Heidi!

I love reading your posts! (I found your blog through Kelle's blog, which I found on the bump...) I wanted to give you a big huge congratulations on baby #3!!! Your family is so similar to mine. :) My daughter is 7, my first son is 5.5, and I just had my baby boy in July. Baby #3 has been such a gift to us. He is such a happy, sweet baby. He is so loved by all of us! I am so excited for you and wanted to send my love! :) mandy

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

Heid. This whole post made me almost have a heart attack. Thank you for the delicious kid pics at the end. I dabble in photography...not at all as involved as you are...but now I know that if I ever DID shoot a wedding, which I doubt, I will have a backup camera. OMFG. I have the 50mm 1.4 and I want to make out with it every time I use it. It's the only lens I use. I want to eventually get a zoom with an ap no less than f2 but that's SO freakin pricey.

Patti said...

I am bookmarking this post for whenever I need a good laugh! I'm sorry for all you went through, but it made a wonderful story :):)
I don't know which was funnier, this-

i dropped to the lawn and began CPR on my beloved canon 50d. i tried powering off my unit, changing batteries, memory cards. i think i even kissed it and promised it french fries after the wedding.

or this-

i ran across the lawn...picture hugely pregnant person racing across a field in the florida heat. it couldn't have been a pretty sight.

You are TOO funny! I'm so glad it all worked out.

I hope you give a detailed account of your (next) birth story, because your writing just makes me feel like I'm there in the moment watching everything...or living it! Hugs to you and praying for a wonderful labor and delivery...oxox

Unknown said...

OHWORD. lady, i felt like it was happening to me while reading that. i mean - how did you not go into pre-term labor?! you are a rockstar, mama. thank you for sharing this story! um...that bride seriously was perfect. you are a fabulous story teller. also, i have the 50mm lens and it is fo sho my fave.

Unknown said...

and i thought i wrote oh MY word - but maybe ohword will catch on.

Kacey Haffner-Bruce said...

amazing!! Great story! I was anxious for you just reading this!

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