Business and Vacation Part 2 - Katie Michelle Photography

Business and Vacation Part II

So if you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts you will already know that this is part 2 of my weekend trip to Ohio. The first post was the first day of shooting, this will be the second. I saved each day for their own special post to talk about how I combined family and business while on vacation.

To begin I want to say that as I write I am looking back on the photos from my time there. It was such a nice day to spend with everyone I’m not entirely sure where to begin this part my little story.  So I'm going to start by putting a little back story into it first.

Side note - this may be a long read, buckle up

The Basketball Tournament


Que the night before…Friday night after Gavin got home from school, it was a pretty chill evening. I had finished with Shawna’s maternity session and we all just vegged out. Late that evening we all decided it’d be fun to go to Main Event (which I soon learned is basically a better, nicer version of Dave & Busters), which I freakin’ LOVE the arcade, games, and laser tag. So this was a total win! And boyyy did I find out how truly competitive Gavin is in anything and everything. Haha, it was great. Even though I was last place in laser tag and did the worst.

Main Event was a really great time to bond with my nephew and I loved it! We ran all over the arcade area and played games together which was so much fun! This is also when Gavin found out that I am also a video gamer. Especially knowing that I play GTA, this totally piqued his interest and was asking if I wanted to play that night. Unfortunately I was super tired after that long day and told him we should play tomorrow night.


Fast forward to Saturday morning I woke up fairly early, hit the gym out there and came home and literally the moment I get home Gavin asks if I want to play GTA, I tell him why don’t we spend sometime with family first and then later tonight when we come home we can play? He’s cool with that. So I’m like, sweet!

Later on that afternoon we all pile in our cars, 1 SUV and 1 big truck to be exact, and we make our way to his basketball tournament. I took my telephoto zoom lens (70-200mm) and took a front row seat to watch him play. His team name was Little Miami and I found out later that he was one of the best players on the team…THE best…But I’m a bit biased wouldn’t ya say?

A little tid bit - we got there about 5-10 minuets late, (oops!) and his team; Little Miami, was down by 5 or 6 points. So Gavin starts playing, and let me tell you a 9 year old basketball game is way more intense and competitive than I thought it would be.

So when I say he could totally whoop my butt playing basketball, I seriously believe that. We get there and right away Gavin starts making shots, hustling back and forth across the court, stealing the ball, and plowing through the other players.

As fast paced as it was, I am a little bummed I didn’t bring my flash with me. The lighting wasn’t necessarily bad but the fast paced-ness meant I needed a little extra light to capture the movements. You’ll see below how my time went. Not my most perfect work but definitely not my worst. I’d like to think I still got some decent shots of him.

One thing I really enjoyed about incorporating my work with my family trip was that I could experiment with sports photography without all the pressure of creating amazing images. I don’t normally do sports related shoots but this was really fun! I like to test the waters and see what I need to work on in all types of photography, because while I love photographing couples in intimate moments, I may need to hone in on these other skills and to be decent at them and have that knowledge is always great.

Safe to say I had a great time. I wasn’t sure how I would incorporate my nephew in my photos besides traditional family pictures. Which unfortunately got cancelled due to weather. So it was a surprise when I fount out that Gavin had the basketball tournament. (#win!) After the tournament we got dinner in downtown Cincinnati and it literally rained cats and dogs. Staring out of our window it was really great to see the city even though it was crappy out.

Gavin sat next to me during dinner and decided to share his AMAZING Mac n cheese with me, and we talked some more about sports, food, and GTA. After dinner Gavin decided he wanted to ride with us home which was super cute and super awesome. On the ride, home he told me TONS of stories. Mostly false but still awesome. We also talked about the photos I took and how we can play GTA later.

Friday Night

We made our way downstairs to the spare bedroom/house flat/game room. Gavin got the video game started and I decided to upload the photos and watch. Shortly after he became interested in what I was up to and I told him to start picking out the ones he liked. I remember Gavin pausing at this image in particular and he said to me

“Just because it’s blurry doesn’t make it a bad photo”

I was so happy when he said that, because honestly he’s right. As a photographer I lose sight of what makes photos “good”. There are tons of pictures that I easily dismiss because they weren’t in focus, or sharp enough, or came out grainy, etc… and they just go back into storage. I’m harder on my work than anyone else and I am my own worst critic, so this was eyeopening. It suck with me so well that I continue to think of this every time I cull a session. What may seem bad to me, could be really meaningful to my clients. So I keep these words in mind every time I look at my photos.

All in all, hanging out with Gavin was not only eyeopening but also another great learning experience for me. I was able to take some awesome insight and advice from him when he was simply being honest all while also practice my sports photography skills. It was a really great experience for me and I am super excited to see him again this summer.

I hope you all can appreciate the photos like he and I do, and can hopefully take some of his advice too. The way I see it, just because something not perfect doesn’t mean its bad; look at the positives any time you can, even when it seems difficult to.



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