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Jan 10 2017


Success Means Failing A LOT!

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~ 4 min read. ENJOY!


Welcome to my first planned portrait shoot, that didn’t involve family or friends… Whaaaaat?!? #StrangerDanger!

It’s a goal of mine, for 2017, to get involved with portrait and people photography a lot more. The extent of my experience is mostly, once in a purple moon snapshot of friends, or of some family members. Nothing was ever planned, and there wasn’t even an ounce of interest in making it something to get into with my photography. I think it’s mainly because interacting with people is, well … it’s not always my cup of tea.

Why, though? Fear? Laziness? Being low-key shy? Or deep down, not really being interested in photographing people? What was it?? Whyyyyy?! Who knows really. I should know … right?!?!

Assess your life so you can make an honest effort to fix your weeknesses

Fine! I’ll chalk to it up to not actually knowing how to hold a decent conversation with anyone but myself. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a hole, pretending to work alone on a couch all the time. I’m king of the awkward silence. It’s where you really see what people are made of.

So, wait. Where is this all going again? …

Oh, yes yes. Comfort zones. Fail to succeed, succeed to fail.


Natalia Rous - N.Y.C Playgrounds
Natalia Rous - N.Y.C Playgrounds

Alright, back to actual story … Recently, I was contacted on Instagram to take some portraits for someone who loved the style of my work. Her name is Natalia,  I call her Nat for short, but shhhhhhh, I didn’t ask. I’m a rebel like that. But yea, we got to talking to figure out a good time and place to meet up.

We chose the Oculus, located right next to the World Trade Center. The freaky looking building that resembles the inside of a whale’s rib cage.

Overall, it was a huge success, and I’m itching to do more. Nat was awesome. Real down to earth, knows what she wants and doing everything she can do get it.

Piercing glassy blue eyes, messy curls, a nice casual outfit going on, what else could you ask for really? She did an amazing job modeling. It was natural for her to be in front of the camera. It took more time for me to relax, but she definitely helped ease the nerves a bit. So much fun.

Here’s some quick edits of a few  favorites from the shoot.

Boards don’t hit back

NAME THAT MOVIE! Leave a comment. If you don’t, I’ll assume you had an awesome childhood and know what I’m talking about.

But yes, streets, buildings, landscapes, still objects … they’re NOT people. They don’t stare back at you. They’re not hoping you take a great photo of them. They’re can also feeling a bit tense, or awkward to meet with a stranger.

A person moves, they interact, they want some type of modeling direction, etc. etc. We’re very strange creatures.

But, people are as complicated as you allow your brain make them. So the more you relax, the easier things become and the more fun you have.

Fail so you can succeed

I had a blast though! Clicking away, giving feedback, getting feedback, all in my lalala-land we played! … until I uploaded the photos and skimmed through the results afterwards. Ohhhhh how my settings were not even close to set properly. It was like I totally forgot how to use my camera. Focus was pretty abysmal on 90% of the photos, I think I was accidentally in manual for a nice chunk of the time and didn’t notice. Shutter speed, yea, who checks that?! NOT THIS GUY!

Alright, freakout over … I also may just need a larger monitor, since I keep forgetting how fuzzy edges get when images shrink down to fit your screen size. But, still … at 100% not so good focusing Mr!!

What was I thinking!? All seriousnesses though, even if you take a million and one shots, you really only need that one great shot.


Natalia Rous - N.Y.C Playgrounds - Oculus
Natalia Rous - N.Y.C Playgrounds

It wasn’t a total disaster though. There were decently focused shots, which look great for social media and Instagram. But hey, judge and jury is the model, right? Well, Nat was very happy with the results (maybe she’s a liar, hahahah). I think I’m too particular about where I want my photography/work to be at all times. I’ll lighten up a bit, and remember, nothing’s every going to be perfect.

In the end, failing at setting my camera properly will definitely be something I’ll never forget to do again. At least I was able to capture a few great moments.

Ultimately, in photography as well as life, I’d like to have my fails be as efficient as possible. I don’t want them to be simple issues easily be avoidable by just taking a step back, composing yourself in the situation, then execute.

I’m definitely looking forward to shooting more.


  • Life Chronicles, Photography
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    I’m the development half of Variety Studios with a passion for photography. With Randy Hadzor, we are are a web and graphics company based out of Syracuse, New York. Working with our clients and marketing agencies, we set out to create unique branding and website solutions that allows each client to broaden their presence as a company.

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