Photographer Fail

Well, I knew taking a (accidental) break from photography would be a bad idea! I had a bit of a photo fail moment last week. We are working on setting up a new online shopping system for our floral arrangements at work, which of course required a photo shoot of all of our spotlighted arrangements. I was actually looking forward to this as studio photography and “commercial” work is certainly not my strong point. With a background in photojournalism, admittedly, setting up a studio intimidates me. Nevertheless, this was a bit of a “work with what you got” set up, so I figured I could handle it.

It has been ages since I have busted out all of my old camera equipment beyond the camera itself. I dug around through some of my storage to find my flash systems and some white balance cards. Shamefully, a lot of my equipment could stand to be upgraded. To put it into perspective, I’m still using 1 GB memory cards and they sell stuff with 8 GB now. Woops. Well, I guess a lot of it is older than I remembered because I had a total equipment fail moment. Both of my flash systems are so old that the battery ports don’t even work anymore. Even with the batteries replaced. I probably should have listened to the advice of not storing a battery in the equipment.  Lesson learned.

After a brief minute of panic (and a series of dollar signs flashing through my mind) I decided to improvise. Thankfully, our makeshift studio was in the garage of our warehouse so I opened the doors and utilized the natural afternoon light coming from the parking lot. I also grabbed a desk lamp, sans shade, to use as a back light. With a solid backdrop and table top there was “barely” enough light to go without the fill light (whew!). Ultimately, I really could have used a reflector or some kind of fill light but it is what it is. I will probably have to do a bit of post editing to brighten a few areas but overall I thought it came out well. Isn’t it strange how you can feel a stronger sense of accomplishment when things are thrown together successfully?

My makeshift set up of a back light, aka, shade less desk lamp. Yes, that is sitting on a pile of styrofoam

My makeshift set up of a back light, aka, shadeless desk lamp. Yes, that is sitting on a pile of styrofoam.

Traditional style arrangement of garden roses and orchids

Traditional style arrangement of garden roses and orchids

Modern style arrangement of orchids and tropical accents

Modern style arrangement of orchids and tropical accents. You can tell the clouds outside had rolled away at this point allowing for a brighter space.


We also used the brief photo shoot as double duty for an upcoming advertisement run we have in a local newspaper. The finished product with one of my bouquet shots is below. Not so bad if I do say so myself! 🙂

Excuse the awful iPhone photo

Excuse the awful iPhone photo

The downside to this project is that my photography shopping list has now grown by a few more items. Currently requiring upgrading:

Camera Bag



Memory cards

Point and Shoot camera (because lugging around an SLR can get tedious)



Can Christmas come sooner please!