Have you ever been in a room and looked around and felt like you didn’t belong? Just felt like you were a fish out of the water and your hoping no one noticed that you’re drowning in the corner. That is the story of my life! I can’t tell you how many times I have actually fallen into a job or mistakenly taken a great photo. For instance, I saw a local ad for an event photographer for the grand opening of the local Paul Mitchell school. At that time I was shooting for the local paper and thought, “I’ll apply, why not?” Worst that could happen was they tell me no. Heck, I might get lucky and still be able to cover it for the paper.
I Wasn’t Prepared
I sent a copy of my resume and the next day the lady called to inform me that I had gotten an interview and that I needed to bring a copy of my portfolio book in. I didn’t have a book, let alone a portfolio and I couldn’t afford to make one. The next best thing I could come up with that night was to put my images on my Kindle.
Halfway thru the interview, she asked to see some of my work. I handed her my kindle and told her she could see my images in the events gallery. I became a bit uncomfortable when I noticed that she had opened my portfolio gallery instead. I didn’t want it to come off as if I was trying to shove my work down her throat or seem ungrateful for this opportunity. We went about the interview and she only asked two questions. How I heard about the job and if I had any questions. I became increasingly nervous thinking I had just blown it. She took a minute to flip thru everything and then before I stood up to leave she said, “Can you shoot some beauty work for Caper next month?” I had no idea what Caper was but told her that I would love to.
I couldn’t have felt more unprepared during that interview. I was a fish out of water for sure who was bound and determined to survive. I left that interview having signed my first big contract with Paul Mitchell all because I loaded some extra images on to my kindle. I have been with Paul Mitchell three years now and couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity– its changed my career path.
So my advice to you is this: always, always have your work with you. Come prepared for anything! Have a gallery of everything you shoot and never be ashamed of showing your work. We are all continuing to grow, learn, and evolve and someone might just want to help you do that along the way by giving you that chance you never thought you would have.