Being that photography is not just my profession, but also my passion, I can easily get swept into the realm of “let’s go play” with those dear to me. In this case, this powerhouse couple who also for the last many months have been merging their skills/businesses together into a single badass life coaching team. What the hell is life coaching, you ask? Well, you can look that up on Google if you like and you will find many different definitions, I’ll summarize it without the fluff: Life coaching is basically committing to yourself with the help of a coach who calls you on your shit and empowers you by holding you accountable for your goals and choices. I’ll divulge that several years ago after feeling totally “stuck” after a series of major personal losses, I had one and if you really want to move through and forward, the right life coach for you can be way better than any form of therapy depending on your situation.
Anyway, back to this duo and this shoot. This shoot was at my encouragement as they are revamping a few things and they needed some new images for their website and other materials so I said, “I can do that!”. If I am supposed to look at this technically, this was supposed to be more of a commercial shoot than a personal one. Where does the line blur when you are with one of your dearest friends and her love/business partner? Apparently rather easily, or so I thought, and leave it to these two to make me realize that this shoot needed no defining.
Being that I know Jenn Reddy very well (and I call her that, “Jenn Reddy” as I’m “Jenn McCormack” in our circle of friends) and I can tell you that she knows me better than most, it was a “let’s just hang out on Sunday and see what happens”. She, Brian and I, did just that….well after we tried to start off with boring headshots which felt obligatory to us and if anything just got the camera warmed up. Since that wasn’t resonating with any of us, we decided to roam. This is where the magic always shows itself.
Just like in their coaching work, it is about finding one’s authentic self. As we walked around the park and then went over to part of the RAD to take in some graffiti time before sharing a pitcher of beer to cool us off from the stifling humidity that existed that morning, I captured them just being them. And, that is typically what I enjoy the most, so why did I feel like I was failing them in some way as they had expressed a need for images to add to their website/branding material? I think part of it was because due to our personal connection it felt much more casual than my typical commercial shoots (though I wouldn’t be opposed to sharing a pitcher post-shoot with any client), and I began to feel as though I was seeing them through the lens as this couple deeply in love, almost as though I was on the verge of treating the situation like an engagement shoot. It turns out that this is not a bad thing, and my guilt was erased when I was going through their images and reflecting on their needs and what I captured. OMG, this is them and exactly what they are doing for others!
Before one can coach another, one has to be willing to be coached and willing to own their own shit. The end result of this shoot was that I had captured two people who are constantly growing and working through so much (together and individually), and they do this not just for themselves but for the reality that they would not be in a place to help others if they weren’t doing that for themselves. And, believe me, they are. If you’re ever feeling “stuck”, please reach out to someone, and I can highly recommend that your someone be one of these two. You can find them at transformationcoaching.life.
Quick reminder, I am heading out today to go play in London and Ireland with my kiddos. Hopefully there will be some travel blogging along the way. Until next time, cheers!!