What Was Your Best Photography Moment or Memory?

What Was Your Best Photography Moment or Memory?

Working as a photographer is not all doom or gloom; in fact, there are some really great moments along the way. What has been your favorite memory along the way?

In this article, Fstoppers writers share some of their favorite memories working as creatives.

Me

I have always loved baseball. I played it obsessively growing up and wanted to become a professional player, but an unfortunate ball to the face abruptly ended that dream. That did not stop my love of the game, though. I still followed it closely as a fan, especially once I started studying math and became interested in the stats side of things. Once I got into photography, my dream was to shoot a professional game. Luckily for me, my friend, Rob Wagner, works with the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and he invited me to photograph games in 2017. 

I drove across the state, walked in, was led down to the photographer's bay and told: "keep your head down and always know where the ball is. It hurts when you get hit." And sure enough, a few foul balls went whizzing past my head and legs. I didn't mind, though; that is part of the game. 

Drew VerHagen pitching for the Toledo Mud Hens.

It was just as fun as I had imagined. The feeling of being on field level in the midst of the action was amazing, and combining my love of photography with my love of the game was awesome. It is also a real challenge to photograph. The lighting is often harsh and full of areas of garish light and deep shadow, the action is often extremely fast as the ball travels across the diamond at speeds sometimes exceeding 110 mph (meaning your focus needs to be spot on, especially since you are usually working at maximum aperture), you need to have good knowledge of the game to be able to anticipate plays and shots, at night, you have to deal with flickering stadium lights, and after all that, you also have to make creative shots and add a dose of your artistry. And I am not complaining; that is the fun of the experience.

Buffalo Bisons 2B Jon Berti makes a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch.

And all those challenges make it all the more exciting when you get a good shot. The first time I got an interesting shot or managed to capture a fast and impressive play, the excitement was addicting, and it kept me driving across the state whenever I could all that summer to photograph more games. 

Anete Lusina

Photo by Anete Lusina

Shooting my first (and only so far) birth.

No doubt, exploring a new genre is always exciting, but I imagine one's first birth session is a particularly special and memorable experience. 

David Fulde

Photo by David Fulde

Nothing will top shooting my first ever national campaign thanks to the agency finding me on Instagram! Last year, I got an email I thought was a scam, but after going through my normal scam checks, I responded. Turns out it was someone for Absolut. I wrote a whole article about the shoot itself, but when I asked them how they found me, since my SEO isn't fantastic, it turned out that they had been searching #TorontoPhotographer, and after sifting through a lot of wedding and family portraits, they found me!

Stepping up to your first huge campaign is undoubtedly a huge accomplishment. You should definitely read the article David wrote about it, as it contains a lot of great insight into the process and what it was like.

Andy Day

Photo by Andy Day

The first time I took parkour photos in London in 2003, back when no one had a clue what parkour was, along with the 30 guys who turned up in central London to train together in this weird French thing that barely even existed on the internet. It was a strange mixture of teenagers and anarchists who wanted to get on rooftops. We tore up London, got chased by the police, and I was shooting stuff on an entry level Canon using really cheap, s***ty film.

Andy's story in particular made me smile, as I started to get serious about photography around 2003, also while using an entry-level Canon film camera with generic film. That is one of my favorite memories, as it was a time where there was no concern about gear, clients, or anything else — just the simple joy of discovering how a camera works and the creativity that goes along with that. 

Fred van Leeuwen

Image by Fred van Leeuwen

We don't get a lot of big rock acts here in South Africa, but we had a surge of them in 2013-2015. I got a chance to meet, interview, and shoot Chino and Abe from Deftones in 2013. Shortly after that, Kings of Chaos performed here, and I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan, and Nuno Bettencourt after the show. I was shooting mainly local bands back then, so to suddenly be in the room with these guys, whose music you listened to growing up, was quite something.

I've been lucky enough to meet a few of my favorite musicians before too, and without a doubt, the experience was one of my favorite memories. 

Jason Vinson

Documenting my own family!

The thing I love about Jason's memory is that he took an unprecedented event that had a deep impact on all of us and turned it into an opportunity to create something wonderful and deeply personal. I think it is a great reminder that even though we are all often quite busy, we have a special skill set, and that can be used to create meaningful memories for ourselves, our friends, and our families. You can read more about his experience in this article.

Conclusion

How about you? What has been your most memorable photography experience? That first big job? A shot you worked hard to get? Tell us about it in the comments. 

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12 Comments

Nitin Chandra's picture

Since I am just a hobbyist, I think one of my moments happened in 2015 while waiting at a particular spot in my local public park and I got this shot https://flic.kr/p/BD1S6v.

This one changed my way of thinking about what I wanted to get and how. More recently, I waited for months in the same local park which also has a small pond for bats to fly out in reasonable light. Ultimately, I got lucky and got over a dozen decent shots over a year or so....This is one of those. https://flic.kr/p/259cHj1

Tom Reichner's picture

Nitin,

Your bat image, the one you linked to, is truly world class, by any standard.

John Adams's picture

Omg what's that on David Fulde's photo??

Tom Reichner's picture

What is it in particular that you are speaking of?

John Adams's picture

The man/woman.

Tom Reichner's picture

That seems to be a rather disrespectful comment to make ..... both to that person, and to the photographer.

John Ellingson's picture

Ten years of knowing Ansel Adams. Probably the best single experience were those morning in Yosemite walking around with him.

Tom Reichner's picture

My best photography memory is not a moment or even a day ...... it spans an entire month!

I specialize in wildlife, and particularly in photographing Whitetail Deer. Every year, I travel hundreds - or even thousands - of miles, to the best deer area that I can find. Then I spend the entire month of November photographing them at the peak of their annual breeding season. I find lodging for a month and shoot the deer from dawn to dusk, every day, for a month, until the rut (breeding season) is over. I have done this every year since 2009.

November of 2013 was the best time I have ever had in wildlife photography. There were more large, fully mature buck deer than any other year. Because of the increased number of deer in the same area, they were more concentrated than usual. This led to more interaction between the deer than normal, as they vied for breeding rights among the herd's does. The increased interaction provided many more opportunities than normal to capture behavioral images and portraits alike.

These are wild deer in natural conditions - running free. It was nature that resulted in the anomaly of more deer in the same area, and not the result of anything man did.

Because of the great number of deer, and the increased interaction between them, I had more quality image-making opportunities than I had had any year prior to 2013, and any year since. The trip yielded hundreds upon hundreds of photos worthy of submitting for publication.

In addition to the personal satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that I get from creating quality wildlife images, November of 2013 also resulted in photos that I have had a lot of success with when it comes to publication and the resultant income.

White there were dozens of very memorable moments during that time, I must look at the month as a whole when I think of the best time I have ever had photographing wildlife. It was the unique dynamic of that month that made all of those opportunities possible.

Hush Naidoo's picture

My best photography memory was the day i got to meet and photograph President Nelson Mandela. I was waiting for him to come out and i needed to photograph him with a group of people , and i never forget his words . Me , mr President i need to photograph you with the group of people , the President , that be great where would you like me to stand , me me President where ever is convenient, the President, no you are the photographer, you tell me where you need me and i will do that . I was blown away by his humility and understanding of my profession...

Teresa Oldenbourg's picture

When the model/subject see the photo of themselves and is genuinely happy with how they look. Under rated experience.

Timothy Gasper's picture

My best photography moment AND memory....my daughter's wedding. See below if you like. My daughter and wife.