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I did my first non-family or friend photoshoot this past Friday. The family wanted Christmas pictures to put on their holiday cards. I had hoped they'd have me arrive during daylight hours because I know my camera performs better with natural light, but this wasn't an option unfortunately. As a result, most of the photos turned out dark and fuzzy, nothing like the crisp pictures I capture of my nephew. There were also a lot of blurred photos. The little girl was either laughing (moving) or crying (moving some more) and while both could have spawned cute pictures, movement and darkness do not play well together.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. 

I fought with my limited freebie editing software late into the night Friday and grew more and more disappointed with the pictures. And with this disappointment, my belief in my ability to be a photographer went right out the window. 

Saturday I decided to finally purchase editing software in hopes of getting at least one decent shot from the set. I can't afford the likes of photoshop, nor would I even know where to begin to use it so I searched for the next best thing and apparently Corel Paintshop Pro X5 is something lots of photographers use. It's like a 'photo based only' version of photoshop, I guess. Anyway, I re-edited the pictures on Saturday and while I am still not entirely thrilled with the results, they're far better than the originals. 

I can only hope the family likes one or two of them at this point. I'm glad I didn't charge them. I feel like such a hack. 

But, despite the blow to my self-esteem over this, I am walking away from this experience with this:

1. I definitely need more equipment. Lights, different lenses, props, etc… I really hope the items I put on my Christmas list are waiting under the tree come Christmas this year. It will help tremendously.

2. It's time to learn the ins and outs of editing software. I can be a great photographer all day, everyday, but some circumstances will require it regardless of my effort. 

Here's some before/afters for your judgement. You can see all the final pictures HERE if you'd like.