Seeing Red

I had a very humbling experience last week.

A client booked me for back to back event photography at their bar on a Monday and a Tuesday.

Monday went great . . . until my camera got knocked and broke.

At first, I didn’t sweat it.

I got most of the shots that I wanted for the evening.

Whenever I do event photography, I prepare ahead of time to make sure I capture exactly what my client wants, plus shots that I think they’ll appreciate.

Plus, I didn’t think the damage was that bad.

Due to the damage, my flash was out of commission for the rest of the evening, but I made due.

The next day I went about preparing to “fix” the damage.

I thought it might be as simple as buying some Krazy Glue®.

The good news is, the Krazy Glue® held and kept the built-in flash in place.

I wasn’t so worried about this because I rarely ever use the built-in flash.

And I was also happy that now that it was secure, I could use the accessory shoe to attach my flash.

And that’s where the good news ends.

Once I applied the flash to the accessory shoe, it held, but the damage was more severe than I realized and the camera couldn’t “speak” to the flash as it were.

So to recap so far . . .

  1. Camera broke
  2. I “fixed” it
  3. But I didn’t fix it


I had to shoot more pictures in a dark bar

Now as a photographer, people like to ask me questions about shooting pictures. 

Some folks are quick to judge your equipment, what’s up with the Nikon haters out there?

And I always like to say “it’s not the equipment, it’s the photographer.”

I strongly believe that.

You can have the most expensive camera on the market with the most excellent lenses available but that’s not what being a photographer is about.

It reminds me of a story told by Sam Haskins, a British photographer who is known for publishing two successful books of prints, “Five Girls” and “Cowboy Kate.”

The story is as follows:

A photographer went to a socialite party in New York.  As he entered the front door, the host said ‘I love your pictures – they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.’

He said nothing until dinner was finished, then:

‘That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific Stove.’

So with a broken camera, I trudged ahead and went to the event and focused my inner Martha Stewart.

Why Martha Stewart?

In her book, The Martha Rules one lesson was particularly relevant. 

“When faced with a business challenge, evaluate or access the situation, gather the good things in sight, abandon the bad, clear your mind, and move on. Focus on the positive. Stay in control, and never panic.”

But I’ll truthfully admit, I did panic, this wasn’t an ordinary event.

It was a ten year anniversary event and a going away party all rolled into one.

There was no do-over.

Martha goes on to explain in her book that she was hired by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward to cater a Moroccan feast and the main dish was pigeon pie.

As the story goes, Martha royally messed up and walked away from the oven which led to burned crusts.

So rather than serving the pies whole, she sliced them up, discarded burned parts and Paul and Joanne were none the wiser!

I had my own kind of epiphany and reminded myself of why I love event photography.

I love connecting with people, and I can talk to anyone.

So I put on my best smile and snapped away.

There are definitely issues with my photos.

But there are issues with all my photos, it’s what keeps pushing me to become a better photographer.

These particular photos all have a red hue to them, and I occasionally had to ask my subjects to move so that I could use the available light to my best advantage.

But I shoot in RAW which means I have more information in each photo than if I shot using the JPG format.

So there’s more elbow room in post-production with LightRoom.

So let’s recap again . . . 

  1. I have a firm belief in the ability of the photographer as opposed to the equipment
  2. I had a fear of failure
  3. I overcame that by focusing on why I started doing event photography in the first place


So what’s the moral of the story?

For me, it’s this, every day things happen that are out of your control, and you always have three choices.

  1. You can be upset
  2. You can accept it and be stagnant
  3. You can accept it and make a change


Ultimately, it’s your choice.

If you’re looking for a content creator who adapts and is always moving forward, then click here to set up a free consultation with me.

Scot Maitland