First time.

If I told you that, as I drove to it, I had my gym playlist blasting out in the car, would that give you an idea of my adrenalin/nerve levels?! I was on my way to my first photography session as a photographer, money was going to exchange hands. This was real!

People talking whilst standing at the bar. First photography session as a photographer.

On Saturday 7th April 2018, Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography photographed a 40th birthday party, at a venue in Bedfordshire.

It was the weekend before the last two days of a six month course with Training byLumiere and in all honesty I was still uncertain of the type photographer I wanted to be. On top of that, Kate and Brent Kirkman, who run Training byLumiere, were guests at the party so there wasn’t just a desire to do a good job, there was a need to make them proud too!

Women embracing at a party. First photography session as a photographer.

A little side note here, when I first started my course I had zero technical ability. If you asked me how I got the shots I did, I honestly couldn’t answer you with anything other than, ‘it just felt right’!

Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed, I truly didn’t have the foggiest what that was about. People, I could work with people. I love people! Relationships, body language, all of it. That has always been a passion. Exposure triangles, it wasn’t a triangle to me, it was a black hole!

Back to the event, a 1920’s theme evening party at a venue, with a flower wall set up in one room. As my course tutors were guests, they had set up a Nikon D4S, with 50mm lens, with 2 X Elinchrom Quadra Rangers with umbrellas for the flower wall.

They went to get changed and we left it that we’d do a run through before the party started.

The party started pretty much as soon as they left to get changed in that people came into the room, saw me, saw the camera gear, the fancy dress props and they wanted to start. So we did! Yes, there was a moment where I also looked around the room for the photographer … and then remembered that it was me!

In all honesty it was the best thing that could have happened. Yes, there was hand holding initially however I then had to do the job and do it by myself. The flower wall was easy as it was essentially a studio set up – the only work there was directing the guests.

Walking amongst the guests and snapping away. I was officially working.

As soon as there was a lull, I picked up my now third child, my Nikon D500, 50mm lens, with a Nikon SB5000 (that I hadn’t even used yet!) and the MagMod MagBounce modifier and I was off.

Ladies talking at a 1920s themed party. First photography session as a photographer.

The party was spread out across three rooms, a bar area, a room that had both the flower wall and the food in it and then the main function room. In here the band was set up (with all of their lights, that was fun!), the dance floor and also the dining area. Three different rooms, constantly changing lights, lots of people moving. It was a cracking deep end to have jumped into

Was it a success? Yes, the client was happy. Did I learn from it? Yes, and I am still learning from it now when I look back at some of the photos and study the exposure and composition. Am I glad that I did it? Oh yes, it marked the beginning of Kate Stoddart-Scott Photography and it was perfect balance of adrenalin, nerves, excitement, technical floundering and enjoyment!

Couple laughing.
First photography session as a photographer.

I can’t thank Kate enough for the incredible photos from my 40th party. I knew I wanted special photos to cherish, but never imagined they would be so wonderful. Kate was that dream photographer you want at your event – in the background, capturing moments without you realising. Discreet, professional and patient – also obliging all the excited and slightly tipsy guests asking for pictures with different groups of friends. Everyone LOVES the images and many have used them as their profile pictures on social media. Highly recommended! Thank you Kate, you were fabulous. XX

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