Behind the Scenes and Seeing Potential in Others

This past weekend we were getting towards the end of the night and I hadn't done a picture of all the rings together. Typically I try to get these done while I still have daylight but unless the rings are available at the very beginning of the day things happen fast enough that it's dark outside and I'm doing ring pictures with the available light and a flash. I'd kept my eyes out for something unique and fun to use for this picture. With my options being quite limited I settled on some candle holders, a high boy, and some extra tea lights.

This is a little "behind the scenes" look at how I captured something that I'm quite proud of and has become one of my favorite ring shots to date.

So the table was in a corner and the first couple of shots I tried bouncing the flash off the off white wall but with little control over the direction of the light it went everywhere...I mean it's a pretty ring shot but all the candle light is lost and it's a little dull for my taste. I thought, "I can do better".


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So I changed the direction of my flash and took it off my camera still trying to bounce off the wall.. again no good.


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Thankfully my wonderful assistant has been with me long enough to not look at me like I'm crazy when I asked her if she could go find something white... a pillow, trash bag, shirt, etc. She came back with the perfect little gift box retrieved from the trash can and we took another shot and got this.. closer... closer...


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So with a few more adjustments I took this and while in most cases I'd toss this aside as the light isn't quite like I wanted it to be... I worked with it a little and without photoshop


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I created this. Something I LOVED.


So many times in life we just need to see the potential in something before writing it off..

So often it is much easier to see the potential in our friends, our spouse, and our kids...

but when we turn the camera on ourselves it becomes much, much harder.

So like with these ring shots- I had envisioned something great.. something extraordinary. I knew what the end goal was but it took some extra effort and work to get there..

I didn't get it right on the first shot- so I tried again.. and to a guest or an onlooker playing with candles, candle holders and an old gift box looked a little silly and maybe a little bit crazy...

But if they were able to see the outcome then what we went through to get there wouldn't look quite so crazy anymore...


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They may even cause them to stop in awe.


What I found most interesting was the pictures that actually looked best straight from the camera- like the one below... ended up not being my favorites.


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So many times the great images, moments in life or achievements we make or celebrate in others don't have the most beautiful beginnings. They're muddy. They may have even taken lots of work, hard work to accomplish but at the end of the day it's when we look back on the hard work and can stand in awe for how far we've come.

Side Note: So when I prepped these images to share I had intended to just do a "behind the scenes" post... but while blogging the images they brought to life what I've seen happen over and over again in the lives of the young girls and women I've worked with doing Five Ten Girls and spending time with the survivors of trafficking. Not only seeing the beauty in these girls and ladies who can only see the scars, pain, filth, shame and disappointment they've caused others or have faced themselves but being able to look into their eyes and see the potential they each hold... and then to pick up my camera and help them to see this too has been incredible. It's changed lives and as much as I've given to these girls I can't help but think of all the ways they've inspired me and what they've given to me.