Okay, it's not a secret. I was married, and throughout those years, I had taken thousands of photos of our family, seven years' worth. We'll skip the messy part, but suffice to say, during the past 2+ years, her kids grew up far out of reach of my lens.
Surprisingly, a few weeks ago, she asked me if I would take some family portraits, since they had not had any taken in a long while. Despite all, I was flattered, and I gladly accepted the challenge. And I say challenge because I wondered how difficult and rife with emotions it might be for her & the kids, having to look relaxed and comfortable and camera friendly in front of someone whom ... well, in the company of one they probably felt they'd never be in the company of again.
But if anything, I'm a professional, and I think -- and I hate to be cheesy here, but there is no other way to say it -- I think being at that location, one that I'd never shot at before but which offered so much potential, shooting people who I was used to focusing on let my passion show through, which trumped any personal static that may have been developing. Oddly, it was familiar and comfortable, and you can't ask for two better ingredients for a photo shoot.
And the result ... well, it was one of my favorite sessions. I absolutely love this location (and will definitely be back), but moreso, I was glad to reconnect with them, even if for small talk over an hour on a cold winter afternoon. She made Christmas gifts from these, which are hanging in a few walls in Northeast Georgia, and for that, I'm grateful.
If there is any lesson I learned from this shoot, one is A) trust your instincts. I'd driven by this location and without stopping, just from a cursory glance, I had a feeling it would be promising. And the other is B) trust your passion. Your passion for what you do can break through barriers you thought were impermeable.