We had a blizzard a couple weeks back and all the photography work ground to a halt at the studio. I called my friend, horse-trainer/roper/farrier/rancher Jason Thorstenson, west of town about 15 miles, and asked if he might saddle up his horse, put on his authentic cowboy duds and chase his cows around a bit. He of course obliged, and I brought him McDonalds breakfast and coffee. It's great having people like this in the world, and it's great when things slow down in your schedule enough to remember what brought you into your career in the first place.
"I love it when a plan comes together!" Professional photographers are masters of lighting and posing, and thus the reason that we are hired instead of your Uncle Ned's volunteer camera work. We have to produce top-quality images regardless of time of day, wind, and cloud-cover. What we realize, too, is that sometime you "find" the light, and sometimes you "create" it. We see it. We work with it, we eliminate it at times and create our own lighting. We understand posing bodies to create shapes of beauty or strength. We study leading lines and composition so your eye is drawn into the subject and not somewhere else. Lastly, we fix shiny skin, blotchy skin, and other imperfections that high-quality cameras capture.
You know, when I became a portrait/commercial photographer in 1997 after 7 years as a photojournalist, I never foresaw that it would the be graphic-artists-turned photographers like Ben Shirk and Richard Sturdevant, who would be producing the national award-winning mind-blowing images. We have, on our staff, Ms. Rhonda Deschamp, one of the best graphic designers in Rapid City. She and I worked together at the Rapid City Journal way back in the 1990's, and she has worked for us for about 10 years. She continues to learn, create, and allow our studio to take my images to the next level. If you are wanting to be a professional photographer these days, perhaps the best background in training is a graphic arts degree.