This past week was a really busy one, but in a good way.
Friday evening through Monday afternoon, I shot a convention. A few months ago, I got the referral through a friend, and I quoted a real price (though on the low end, as I was kind of unsure of myself), and they agreed!
I'd been nervous about it for a long time. First, because it was such a long event--over 30 hours of coverage! Second, because I haven't done a ton of event shooting lately. I did a one-day conference last August (for a pittance, but I guess it was good experience; unfortunately I never heard from the company about the photos afterward), and I did a lot of events back in 2009. This company was very clear and upfront about what they wanted in terms of the photos that they wanted, and so I was nervous about being able to achieve everything. Third, some of the events were smaller, evening events that might require flash, which is always a gamble depending on the venue.
The weekend was indeed very busy; I shattered any previous records of time shooting and photos shot--Saturday and Sunday were each fourteen hours, and my shot total for the weekend was more than four thousand. But it was also a lot of fun--lots of different things to see and photograph, and everyone I met or came in contact with (either listening to a lecture or actually speaking to) was genuinely friendly and really nice.
The first evening venue was a nightmare for flash (huge ballroom), and I felt like a failure. However, looking it up later, I discovered that there really is no way to light that kind of space without a lot of equipment placed all around the room, so it wasn't just me being unaware. The second evening venue was a higher-than-normal-but-not-ballroom white ceilings, so bounce flash was perfect.
Overall, a lot of the work was capturing people doing various things, which is what I love to do and which is what I do best.
Once the events were over, I worked really hard on the photos. For a few hours on Friday night, and then at least six hours on Monday, eight on Tuesday, and three each on Wednesday and Thursday, I edited them down to a more manageable number, and did basic fixes. (The white balance in a convention hall is a nightmare! Every place you turn, the lighting is different.)
On Friday, I dropped off the disc of photos in person. I'd emailed some to them earlier in the week as well, as previews. The person I'd been working with said they LOVED them, that they were so much better than the photos from the previous year's convention, and that her boss couldn't stop raving about my pics, and they might want me at an event later in the year!
Y'all, this is so amazing. To get such positive reviews of a huge photo project like this one feels incredible! For one, it was a relief that I captured what they wanted. And two, it was/is extremely validating to hear from a big client like this that they loved my work! Three, of course, is that this is a huge reference/experience to have on my photo resume. Fourth, the best--there could be huge potential for future work not just from them, but from referrals of people at the convention or in the company. They already offered to write a testimonial on my photography site!
So I am crossing my fingers that more good things might come out of this excellent weekend! What a great way to start off 2012!