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Back in the day, I used to be a portrait photographer. It was a side business, but one that kept me very busy. My client base was steadily increasing when some stuff hit the fan, and I got really turned off by the ugly side of customer service and, frankly, humanity. Because the work was so time intensive and the payoff not that great, even after doubling my prices, I began to wear out.

I took a hiatus from shooting, and only recently fell back in love with the work. So, after testing the waters for my own family’s portraiture at the local portrait studio, I thought I would try something different. I wanted to get some outdoor family shots, on a nice fall day for our holiday cards.

I did some web research and found a reasonably priced gentleman, whose work seemed to fit what I was looking for. We picked a Saturday in mid-October, and met at the historic area of New Castle, Delaware. It was a location I knew I liked, but also one I’d actually taken many photos of myself, both for my own use and for portrait sessions I’d been hired to do.

Though my son had been a pro at previous photo sessions, this was not the day he would comply. He clung to me with a death grip for the entire shoot. He fussed the entire time and refused to engage with or even look at the photographer. As the time wore on, I came to understand that any hope I’d had of a respectable and usable portrait was just not going to happen. By the end, I was exhausted and near tears. And, since the work was already done, I had to pay for the session. I haven’t yet seen the images, but I can’t imagine there’s much to salvage from the day. I’m just devastated.