Upload & Sell: On
Hang on Boys, the good thing is all that white stuff will melt and bring you a verdant Spring.
Jeff, I think, based upon the well worn like button, it's safe to say that your most recent posted image is a keeper! Beautiful!!
I wrapped up my trilogy in SW Fort Worth just after dusk yesterday. Not one of those shoots you really look forward to and as a result it takes an extra measure of vigilance to ensure that a best effort is still applied. This is a relatively new client that, up to this point, hasn't enlisted the services of a higher end photographer. I understand the reasoning, their product line consists of homes in the 120's, reaching maybe $200,000 on the extreme end. Builders in that range often just don't feel that they have the budget for good photography. This client has been very successful in the minority, first home market, helping individuals and families make that stretch from paying rent in multifamily complexes, to owning a home and being able to provide a neighborhood type environment for their children. I have to believe that the ability to do that is a big step in breaking some the the lifestyle syndromes that plague minority families. The more I work with the people in this company, the more I realize how dedicated they are to this mission, and what good people they are.
I learned long ago that what many would consider lower end single family housing, is an almost unimaginable dream to a lot of people. Early on while I was shooting an assignment in Houston that consisted of homes that were literally apartments without common walls, selling for 75 to 90 grand, that "there but for the Grace of God go I....". Even the agency that gave me the assignment made sarcastic remarks about the level of the product and that I was in for a challenge making the homes look like something other than government housing. Heading down to do the assignment I can remember being influenced by the chiding and letting it affect my attitude going in. While I was setting up and shooting, one family after another came to look at the models, all minorities, obviously all struggling. The common thread was the reactions I witnessed. If it was a couple with no children, the husbands and wives would ooooh and aaaah as they walked through what was basically a three or four room floor plan with a full bath and a powder room. The families with kids touched me even more deeply because the kids would run from room to room excitedly viewing what would be a dream come true for them. That week was very humbling and equally convicting, like most every day, God was there and He was in His serious teaching mode.
I composed and lit those properties with the care and precision that "dream" homes deserve. When I delivered the images to the agency they were beside themselves with the captures and the effort I put in. There were a number of jokes made early on, until I related the story that I just told you here. I'm sure that my eyes welled up once or twice in the discourse, when talking about the kids and their reactions to the homes. I think, I hope, that a renewed perspective helped them create a more dedicated marketing plan for their client.
Anyway, yesterday's home were very nice, just on a much less grandiose scale when compared to my normal subjects. I was feeling a little down anticipating the dormant winter landscape, smaller designs, absence of perks like landscape lighting and lushly appointed yards and beds, but the memories of my Houston "teaching moment", came back in technicolor and I had a "Dutch Uncle" talk with myself on the way over and all through the next day and a half. It's easy to be fired up about a high end shoot where everything is working in your favor, but much like life, it's the one's that challenge you and require you to dig deep to do your very best, that build character.