Hey, friends, Rebecca here, welcome to another episode of the Business Journey Podcast. I'm so glad to have you here today. Today's topic is going to be interesting. I am peeling back the curtain and sharing one of my shooting indoors horror stories. So if you're one of those people that like when you drive by an accident, you just can't look away because, like, it's so bad. But you like you just you have to see it. This is for you. Like this is I'm showing you the ugly part of my business years ago, a mistake that I made that was so awful. And my hopes is that you'll be able to learn from that mistake. So it's going to be a little bit of a story time today. Before we dive in, I wanted to let you know about a free resource that I have. In case you haven't heard about it, I have a free mini sessions class where I teach basics of mini sessions. We dive into marketing secrets that I use in my own business. This is one of those classes that I find very valuable. Whether you are a beginner or you're an advanced photographer, everybody needs help with marketing. That's one of the most common questions that I get from photographers is how do I step up my marketing game? And so, honestly, whether you're interested in shooting minis or not, this is something that I believe will be really helpful and valuable for you because of the marketing aspect of this class. So I highly recommend go check it out. You can sign up today at Rebeccaricephoto.com/mini-class, and we'll link that in the show notes so you can hop in there. But I'm telling you guys, this is the best time to jump into this mini sessions class because you'll be able to really consume that information.  And I'm telling you, you're going to leave with pages and pages of notes. That's like one thing I'm super proud about with my free classes is that you do leave with actionable items. And so now's a great time to hop in, get those action steps. That way you have time to apply it before your next set of mini sessions. So go check that out. Rebeccaricephoto.com/mini-class. OK, let's jump in to this horror story of shooting indoors just to give you guys a little perspective and paint the picture here of this studio. This was several years ago back in Texas. There is this little indoor studio. It is a house that was renovated to be a studio. And so it's so cute, tiny house, but it's got white shiplap walls everywhere, beautiful white flooring, great natural light, like it's just the perfect place for a light and airy photographer like myself. And so during the day, it's perfect with natural light. You couldn't ask for better lighting. I mean, it's amazing. Now, the problem comes when it's not sunny outside. It tends to get very, very dark in there. And I didn't know that. And so because before I had shot there several times and had only shot there during the day when it was super nice, I had never been there on a gloomy day. So I had a set of Christmas minis there one time. It was a gloomy day and darker than I had anticipated. So me coming unprepared, I didn't have a flash with me, didn't have any continuous lights, and literally was like, Oh, it's fine. I'll just, you know, I so it's fine. So this super sweet family comes in. Mom, dad, two kids, adorable family at this point. This was their first session with me. Yeah. First session. And they I mean, they're just so sweet. So I had done several minutes and the minutes beforehand the sun was out. But for whatever reason, the sun like all of a sudden I think is about to rain or something. And so, like, the clouds rolled in and it got super, super dark for this mini only. So the family comes in and I sit them down and do all the things. And in this particular studio house, there are lights inside, but not like studio lights. They're like house lights And so they tend to cast like a yellow lighting on our yellow cast are my families. And so I typically turn the lights off. So in this instance, they came in and I turned the lights off and to me it was no different than any other time I had shot. So I figured, oh, no big deal. So, you know, you can you can fix a lot in post. You fix a lot and post. Well, it's hard to fix, is it ? The lighting is too low. OK, so when I was setting the settings for the camera, I didn't want to raise my ISO too much because I didn't want grain. And so. I literally was like, you know, I'm just going to keep my eyes down a little bit, the photos will be darker, but I'll just fix it in my room. Oh, my gosh, you guys, that is like the worst thing that ever say I'll just fix it in my room. Don't do that, OK ? Don't be like me. So I figured I would fix it in post. And unfortunately, something like super low lighting is not easy to fix in post. And I didn't know that. OK, come to find out, but let's let's go run. So short the session. It was great. I did not check the back of my camera even when I did, I kind of glanced down knowing that it was dark and like, OK, and I just kept going. So we finished the session. I pretty sure there were the last one of the day, finished the session I had home. And then I get home and I pull out my camera like I always do to scroll through my images. You know, I just want to see, like, recap of the day. How did it go ? Well, I get to this family and, you know, I've got it on the back of my camera. I zoom in, oh, my gosh, you guys, it looked awful. I'm talking like not only was it just dark, but we lost detail in their faces because it was so dark, like out of focus, because it was so dark. The camera couldn't focus properly, like probably the worst photos I had ever taken in my life. I felt so horrible. You guys like immediately. I was mortified. I probably cried because I tend to cry in situations like that. I probably cried and I knew that I had to tell her because it was so awful. And at that time I probably should have waited until I edited and delivered the images before letting her know that there was a mess up just because if you know, we were able to fix it in post and the panic was all on my end and unnecessary, then I wouldn't have, you know, had to involve her and she wouldn't have even known that there was potentially something wrong. So that's something, you know, in hindsight I would have done differently. But in this instance, I picked up my phone and called her immediately and I let her know that there were some settings that were wrong on my camera and her session. I don't think the photos are usable. And she was so kind and so understanding and thanked me for my communication and letting her know. I did tell her that if she wanted, we could we could either do a reshoot or we could just leave the photos as it is and try to add them and see what they look like. And then she can make that decision afterwards. So she opted to go ahead and edit, see how they turn out and then decide if she wanted to reshoot afterwards. So and, you know, honestly, she just didn't want to get her family, like, dressed and ready for pictures again, which I totally get. And I would have had to rent the studio again. And it was just a nightmare. So we came to the conclusion that I would try to edit them and see what happens. So I edited them. They turned out honestly better than I thought they would. Still not great. OK, I knew as a trained eye that this was not ideal, that, you know, they they were not up to par with my typical work. I could tell that there's a lot of work done in post and they just were not crisp and I was not happy overall. So, you know, I delivered them and she was so gracious to her, they were fine. And that's because she doesn't have a trained eye. And so that's something like just remember, if you ever have a session that you feel like you take, most of the time our clients don't notice. And so, you know, I out of courtesy, I let her know if she was not happy with them, I would be more than happy to reshoot. But she ended up being fine with them. And so we left it at that and we moved on with our lives. I don't think she bought extras, but that's like not not uncommon for her. She typically doesn't buy extras, which is OK. So we just left it at that and moved on. Well, here's the worst part, you guys. A couple months later, her husband had unexpectedly passed away. And I saw this on her Facebook and my heart shattered. You guys knowing that my photos of their family were the last family photos they had together, professional photos, if you can call it that. And my heart broke because I knew that I didn't serve them well. I knew that it could have been better. And I regret that to this day. The problem was, I. I didn't use correct equipment. I should have had a flashlight with me to be able to use in that low lighting and I, to be honest, was just arrogant and figured that I was good enough that I didn't need a flash and I could just fix it in Lightroom. And I couldn't. I really couldn't. And so, thankfully, she and her kids came back for more minutes. I was able to serve them much better. I felt like I had redeemed myself. But I will never forget that experience. And, you know, I in that moment, I swore that I would learn how I would get a flash because I don't think I even had a flash. I would get a flash. I would learn how to use it, because at least the basics, because I would never let something like that happen again. And I know that got, like, really heavy and I'm so sorry. But, you know, I want to be real with you guys. And, you know, this is the Business Journey podcast. And, you know, our photography journey is that it's a journey and it's not all highs. You know, sometimes there's lows. And I'm a big proponent in sharing my failures just as much as I would share any successes, because I want you guys to be able to learn from my failures and not have to walk through the same things that I did. You know, if you're listening and you don't have a flash or you do have a flash and you don't know how to use it, and I'm not talking about, like the pop up flash, I'm like, start our bodies. I mean, like an on camera flash that you have to, like, hook on has a little thing at the top, like if you have one and don't know how to use it or you don't have it at all, now is the time to learn. You guys like take this as a sign, you need to get a flash, even if it's a cheap one. You need to learn how to use it so that you don't have an experience like mine. Like don't wait until you have an indoor horror story to learn how to use. Flash, you know, growing up and I've said this a little bit, that if you've, you know, been around for a while, I have an older half brother who is six years older than me and an older half sister who is 14 years older than me. So growing up like we didn't do like the half sister, half brother thing. It's my brother and my sister. And so I had the unique perspective as a kid, seeing them in early adulthood. Most kids don't get to watch their siblings in early adulthood, but I did. And so in those seasons, you know, I got to watch them walk through some great times and then, you know, naturally make some mistakes and walk through hardship. And in those times, in those seasons, that they were going through some hard stuff based on decisions that they had made. My mom would tell me as a kid, Rebecca, learn from this. Learn from this. I want you to see the path that your brother and sister are taking and learn from it so that you don't have to make those same mistakes when you're an adult, too. And so I take that to heart. And that's where I want to communicate to you guys is like learn from my mistake so that you don't have to walk through that same thing yourself. You'll be able to save yourself so much heartache, so much stress. Just by taking my experience, you can take it as your own. Take that story, you know, stored in your brain like it's your own and use that as motivation to learn how to shoot with a flash; because if anything like that is the big motivator that got me really needing to learn how to use my flash. So. If you don't have a flash, go get one today, go on Amazon, get a flash. If you do have a flash, this is your sign that it's time to learn how to use it. I didn't want to leave you empty-handed with this because, you know, Flash is like a whole new world, especially if you're a natural light photographer like me, where primarily outdoors. But even then, it's very, very wise to have a flash in your bag just in case and to know how to use it. And so this month in Behind the Lens, which if you aren't familiar behind the lens, is my membership for family photographers, where I take you along with me behind the scenes on family sessions every month and you get a free masterclass included. It is fourteen dollars a month. It's so affordable. I wanted to make it a resource that anybody could get and get quality education from. So in this month's Behind the Lens, I'm taking you along to a lifestyle newborn session. It was indoors. It was super dark in this dark, tiny house on a gloomy day, much like that house that the studio is in. In that story I just told and I knew that if I didn't have a flash, I would have had a very similar experience to the one before. And so thank goodness I had a flash with me. So that's where I filmed behind the scenes. I wanted to take you along to see how I use my flash, how I, you know, maneuver in this small home that is not ideal lighting, not ideal colors, all the things. And we make it look like magic. Along with that, I'm also including a flash masterclass in Behind the Lens this month, which is live right now. So you can go to Rebeccaricephoto.com/behind/the/lens. I'll link it in the show notes. You can have it, but you can snag this right now. There is a flash masterclass in there that I got together with a friend of mine who is the king of Flash, Rob Green, and he is teaching all about how to use your flash. It's flash for basics. Flash for basics. Oh, my gosh. The basics of flash for beginners. And it's it's so valuable. I wish I had that when I was learning how to use my flash, because I'm telling you, it took lots and lots and lots of trial and error and failing YouTube videos and all the things. And it was hard for me to learn, whereas I didn't want it to be hard for you. So in this class, Rob talks about what equipment you need and thankfully it's not you don't need the best equipment like here. He says in there he's like, if you go get a TV flash for a moment, like, I can teach you how to use it. So that was good. You don't need a super expensive flash, but he'll show you what equipment you'll need, how to use it, what settings you need to use and how to get that flash to look like natural light, which was the biggest thing for me. I didn't want to use Flash in the beginning of my, you know, photography journey because I'm a natural light photographer. And if I used Flash, it wouldn't look like my style and blah, blah, blah. So Rob really dives into that and how you can get it to look like natural light. And he gives like practical kind of like homework, something that you can do today. If you enroll, go watch it. He'll give you something you can do today to see that quick win. And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how easy he makes it seem. And so, you know, it doesn't have to be overly complicated. And I've never heard somebody explain Flash so well in a way that is it's very simplified. And so I know that you're going to get, you know, a lot of value from Rob. And so go check that out. That's behind the lens. You can head to the link that's in our show, notes Rebeccaricephot.com/behind/the/lens and you can go enroll today. It's only fourteen dollars. The fact that you get the behind the scenes video and the master class for fourteen dollars is a total steal, you guys. And so I know you're going to love it. Definitely Go check that out. Well, guys, I hope this was helpful for you all. I know it was kind of vulnerable for me to, you know, dive into that horrible story. I've never told that story anywhere. And so you guys are the first to hear it. But hopefully it was helpful for you that you were able to take something from it. And if anything, just if you didn't hear anything, hear me on this, go get a flash. Go learn how to use it, because it's good to have in your bag in case of emergencies at the minimum. So we're going to go ahead and close our I will see you guys around this time next week bye.

Episode Transcript

14. My Shooting Indoors Horror Story