how I got in bed with Sue | by Sarah Smith | phoTobin photography

September 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

 

I am not usually an over persistent person.  I have become very "Canadian" in that way but this year when I took over running the business side of phoTobin photography I decided to unleash my inner "American" and ask for what I want.  Not in a pushy way; I always give permission for whoever I am asking something from to say "no", but I am at least giving them the opportunity to say "yes" instead of just assuming the answer will be "no" so why ask.

I had the great pleasure and honour of being invited by Sue Bryce to come down to creativeLIVE to learn from and assist Simona Janek with hair and makeup on 33 models that Sue booked for the 5 day workshop.  I'm sure a few of you are wondering... how/why did she get picked? If you read Tobin's blog post last week you heard the story about my pink bag.  I didn't now how it would come together but I knew if I got that bag it would be coming with me to cL to do makeup with Simona for Sue but how I got there is also an interesting story.

Tobin had the pleasure of joining Sue and Simona in Seattle for the first workshop in March and as you are aware, it was life changing for us.  We dropped all other aspects of our photography business and focused all of our energies on "glamour".  Also in that time we became cL addicts.  We now own over 29 courses (we will write about all that in the future) and of those 29 had the pleasure of being on set collectively 5 times.  Mostly for the "local calls" but we figure the drive from Vancouver is worth the knowledge from the teachers let alone hanging out with the amazing people behind the scenes.  So when we were down for Tamara Lackey's Work/Life Balance workshop we heard that Sue and Simona were coming back.  We blocked that week off instantly and just assumed somehow we would be down there.

We made our submission videos and when they announced Sue's 6 students I would be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed...for a couple of hours.  Then I reminded myself that just because I didn't get to join them in the studio didn't mean  I didn't have access to the knowledge.  I mean, that is what is so amazing about creativeLIVE!  Then Sue did a call for models and I thought, "Okay, I may not be a student but I can learn a lot of what Simona does by having her do it to me and OMG! I will get over my insecurities to be shot by Sue, even if it is in front of 1,000's".  I sent my model submission.  It was short and to the point because I know Sue gets a lot of emails and I wanted to be considerate of her time because I also know that she does truly read each one.  I even sent it before I signed it.  Oops.  I figured, "well, if it's meant to be then it's meant to be."

Then the next morning I realized something.  Instead of being over concerned about Sue's time to read my email I wanted to share with her the impact she has had on not only our business but me personally.  So I laid it all out on the line and got and very sweet but still a rejection email back from Sue.  "Okay," I thought to myself, "no regrets and a ton of gratitude because now I won't wonder...what if".  I was planning on writing Sue a quick email thanking her for her time and consideration once I got the kidlets to bed.  Now usually I don't have my email on "push" but I had just notified our clients that their prints were in so I wanted to make sure I responded to them quickly if they wrote and while I was giving Isla a bath my phone whistled.  Tobin grabbed it to pass to me and his face dropped.  Now, any of us who is a fan of anyone will know that to receive an unsolicited email from said person makes your stomach flip-flop.  From: Sue Bryce.  My jaw dropped too. The email started...Sarah, since I didn't choose you as a student and I didn't choose you as a model, would you be interested in coming to Seattle for the full 5 days and assisting Simona?  I had to read the email a could more times to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  In my mind that meant fetching coffee, watching masters at their craft and helping wherever I could but never in a million years did I think I would be doing full hair and makeup let alone on camera...  but that is another blog post all together :)

 


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