We had a beautiful setting. The waves rolled in and out. The harbor was quiet. We had that soft golden light. We were at a cottage the family had rented every year. A place where my couple got engaged (well not the exact cottage) but you get the picture I am painting. I started my session walking around the cottage checking out the grounds and chatting with my couple, getting them comfortable in front of the camera before we started. We chatted about the beach, good beer choices and wedding planning. When not even 15 minutes into our session, the WORST thing happened to me. When I was posing my client and walking back to get a wider shot. I, along with all my photography gear in my shoot sac filled with lens, memory cards, phone and camera body, ALL fell into the salt water. With this happening so fast I remember seeing my clients running to me in sloo-mo to help me as I yelled, “MY GEAR!” I didn’t care that I hit my head on a dock or that I was sobbing wet. I was freakin’ out about my gear. My baby. My whole world. I scrambled to get my camera body and telephoto lens out of the water and then get my shoot sac off from being wrapped around me. Completely embarrassed, upset and overwhelmed I held in the tears. What the heck was I going to do? The family had been on the front porch and saw this happen came down with towels and make sure I was ok. We whipped down all the photography gear, removed batteries and memory cards. I sat there with full disappointment that this happened to me as we laid out all the gear. My couple and their family were so so over the top generous to help me dry up and take care of my gear. Jessica, my bride to be, and I went to the store to get rice. 20lbs later all my gear was in rice.
That night was the longest car ride home. I felt like I let my clients down. We had planned for this session for months and all were so excited to capture these memories. They were completely understandable and just wanted to make sure I was ok. They even had me stay for dinner! On a positive sign, I was able to save any images I shot already from their session.
I believe in signs. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I think this was a sign for me to slow down. We do have a lot going on with work, building our tiny home, moving and life in between. It’s the middle of wedding season, I have had back to back weddings and I am pretty much booked up until late fall. I have been renting gear and very fortunate to have fellow photographers in the industry let me borrow gear while I was still going through the process with insurance and deciding on what gear to purchase. So thankful to have peers in the industry who are there for me, listen to me vent and know what it is like to have something like this happen to you.
I have been wanting to share my story but kept holding back. Now that I went through the insurance process with my first claim and I am about to purchase gear I wanted to reflect on this. I am sharing this to remember that this happened to me for a reason. Accidents happen and you learn from them. Believe me I have a learned a lot from this.