What can I say about shooting the Deringers. Well…let’s back up. Who are the Deringers? By now, I’m sure you all know about Genesis, the group of fantastic photographers who have been taking the photography world by storm since 2011. We have all trained together, shot together and learned from each other. Although this started as an attempt to take my photography to the next level, the impact this group has had on me is unexplainable. These people have become my closest friends, my sources of inspiration, my late night editing buddies, and people I can turn to when I’m trying to figure out a way to balance it all.
As fun as we would all like to pretend we are when we get together, many of us are parents, and struggle to leave our families behind on these long wedding days, our jet setting weekend trips to second shoot, and to meet up once a year for reunions. We oddly feel like we know each other’s families, thanks to social media and the occasional opportunity to visit and second shoot. And when we get together, it’s a lot of face-timing, telling stories, sharing pictures, and oohing and aaahhing. And….typically a mom or two crying at breakfast that she misses her kids. Ok, sometimes that “mom”is Shane.
I met Shane in Memphis at my first Genesis in 2011, and did not speak a word to him. He’s not exactly a talker, and I knew I had the worst photography at the conference, so I spoke to no one. When I returned to Genesis in March of 2012, he also returned. But the older, wiser, and more refined Kory Chase did her homework. I couldn’t risk another “Ed Pingol Incident.” I knew who this guy was. He was the family guy with the most amazing “about me” on his website. He talked about his beautiful wife, his kids, and how important photography was to him as a dad and husband. His pictures blew me away and I remember thinking, “wow, I will never ever have pictures as good as his.”
Sadly, Shane and so many of my G friends live so so so far away. Victoria, BC is not a short trip. So when I had the opportunity to shoot for Shane and Tamara in the same weekend this summer, I knew I had to do it.
And I also knew what else I had to do. Get some awesome pics of their families. But if you want to know how to crush any amount of creativity or confidence you may have, shoot for someone who is way way better than you, and has seen your pictures at their worst. Shane has always been the polite, yet blunt friend that will use great manners when he tells you “your new black and white editing preset looks terrible. Stop using it.” Or “Why did you blog that picture? It’s really lame.” So you can only imagine what was going through my mind when I was shooting. I was frozen. I’m so glad no one could read my mind while I shot, because it was a constant “mantra” of “Don’t screw this up Kory. Make them laugh.” And I wasn’t winning on either account. I really wanted to get to know Shane’s family. Tracey and I both work in education, and our kids are similar ages, so I wanted more than anything for us to hit it off. Tracey, thank you so much for putting up with all my millions of Canadian questions….and of course this group of crazy photographers that has descended on your life! I know that putting up with your husband taking everyone else’s pictures all the time must get old! I’m so glad to give you guys a turn in such a beautiful place.
Leave me with kids long enough and I will forget that grown-ups are watching, forget about composition, forget about whether the grownups laugh at my jokes, or even smile, forget about all things technical and get the kids to be kids. Shane’s kids were the best. Ali sat on my lap and helped me take “romantic” shots of her parents, and Josh let me know that he knows what romantic means. He also had no problem jumping in with my other camera to “second shoot”. They were phenomenal.
I hope that Tracey and Shane love these as much as I do. It was an honor to work with you guys and see you all at your happiest. Shane, you may be the Canadian light painting pro, but I caught Ali smiling huge when she threw her hands around your neck! Your kids are happy, cuddly, little love bugs. The way they look at you both is amazing. I hope that next time, I can bring my little monsters and let them join forces while we all sit at a lake or something (T.hat’s what you do there. Trust me.)
Link to video