There has never been a harder secret that I’ve had to keep since becoming a photographer. It took three months of planning and a total of six months of secret-keeping until these Outlander-themed photos could finally be revealed to the recipient. Under normal circumstances this would have been difficult, but when you’re friends with the couple? It. Was. So. Challenging.
How the Session Came to Be
When I got a text from my friend, D, saying, “What do you think of doing a session like this for L for our anniversary?” with a link to an Outlander Dudoir session by Caleb, a budoir photographer from Bend, Oregon, I was immediately intrigued. Outlander is their favorite show and this seemed like such a fun gift for their 10th anniversary. We decided to do the session a few months later and it seemed like it was going to go super smoothly.
What I didn’t expect was to get a text from L later THAT NIGHT with the same exact link. Like, what are the actual odds? Just the fact that this session was on her radar at all made my body fill with more anxiety than I thought could happen over a photo session that had only been planned for two hours.
Keeping the Secret
Do you know how difficult it is to keep a secret from someone when you see them weekly? Not only did L and I get together with two of our friends for “Bachelor/Bachelorette” viewing parties every week, but she and I are craft buddies and were crafting on the regular. So what do you do when you can’t tell the one person you want to tell?
You tell everyone else, of course.
I told our mutual friends, my neighbors, my college friends, my hair stylist, my photographer friends. Everyone. The fact that it didn’t get back to her is honestly a miracle. It took a lot of intentional thought to not spill the secret, but it was absolutely worth it in the end.
What I Learned
L was so surprised when she opened the box of printed photos on their 10th anniversary. And it was truly a relief to have the secret out. But I learned more than how to (kind of) keep a secret from a friend. I learned that pushing myself to new places in my creativity was a good thing. It brought back some of the fun that can often get lost when you photograph a lot of the same things all the time.
As a photography business coach, I always preach to photograph the types of things that you want to shoot and that fill you with joy. (Basically, don’t photograph food just to make a few bucks if your real passion is weddings.) But that doesn’t mean to not take chances. This type of session isn’t something that I plan on making into my full-time work (despite any suggestions from friends to the contrary). But it was a session that was pure fun, and I think all of us photographers need a little more of that in our lives.
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