From Elementary School to the Wedding Proposal

Lately, I’ve been really busy editing photos and booking photo shoots for the next few weeks so I haven’t really been able to work on some of my plans for the holiday season. As I was wrapping up some wedding photos, I got a phone call from a number that I didn’t recognize.

The gentleman on the other end of the line mentioned that I took a photo of him at a previous event and asked if I can photograph a surprise proposal to his girlfriend. I thought to myself “Of course”. And to make it better, it was going to take place in my neighbourhood. Amazing.

A couple of days later, I received a phone call from that same number saying that he was going to go with a videographer instead of a photographer. I was disappointed but I understood his viewpoint and hey, it’s his moment, not mine.

I had a couple of events lined up to photograph on the weekend and I had thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll call him back and see if I can shoot a couple pics.” The video component is great, but with me taking pictures, I can give him and his lady almost instant results for images that they can post on their social media or email family and friends overseas.

I called him up and he agreed with me coming to cover his proposal so everything was back on. When I arrived, I saw that Joe the videographer from Fedora Films was all good to go and doing sound checks to make sure everything was perfect. I brought my old phone with me to do a brief video for my social media but I wasn’t able to connect my Bluetooth remote to it so I had to use my current phone. Everything was set, I did some metering so I knew the photos would be properly exposed so we were all set.

The lady of the hour arrived in her car and saw the love of her life and started laughing at what she saw, purple flower petals on the floor, music playing. Granted, I didn’t know these people but I could tell that there was definitely love between them just by her reaction to seeing him and listening to his wedding proposal speech. I had to move my tripod with my phone into a better position and more importantly, move myself to prepare for the big moment. As he was about to go on one knee, someone called my phone. My ringer was off, but it’s interrupting my video. I Hit “decline” frantically. So much so, that the tripod toppled over.  I got it back upright and managed to save the shot. You can view the video on my Instagram page @degreyphoto

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Everything turned out great, she said yes, I met a beautiful new couple and I’ve met a potential video partner for future projects. It was a cold, but a fabulous way to start my Sunday.

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New Degrey Photography Business Cards 

For those that don’t know my history as a photographer, I’ll give you a brief rundown. I worked for a mutual fund company and got laid off. I was collecting Unemployment insurance and decided to buy a camera and take a beginner course at George Brown College. I had a friend that was willing to pay me to do a photo shoot for her makeup portfolio. For my birthday, my cousin was going to take me to dinner but changed her mind and gave me money to register a business name and get an HST number. So with that being said, becoming a photographer wasn’t my plan.

6 years later, as I’ve  gone along with my photography journey, I’ve slowly collected tools and equipment to improve my operation.  The first set of business cards I ever had was from a company called ICS Copy  Centre. It was near my house and had good prices.  They no longer have the store where I got my cards but they still have a location in the Pickering Town Centre. The unique feature on my original cards was that the back had a QR Code that you could scan and it would direct you to my website. That was when Blackberry dominated the phone market in the Toronto area.

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My original cards
First business card with original name and logo
This was my first Business card.
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QR Code to link to my website

My second variation of my card came from my friend Kyle that runs a company called Skylar Media. When he had a big job and was short staffed,  I would help out.  During that time, I decided to make a slight name change to my name from Degrey Images to Degrey Photography. So I wanted cards to reflect the new name. I also included a logos and my handles for  Twitter and Instagram. The back also had a photo of a vintage camera that I took during a photo walk that I did along Queen St W with my friend. I had about 1000 cards printed and they were a higher quality paper than my previous edition.

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Card number 2 with a new name and logo
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Updated with social media links
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picture of a vintage camera that I saw on Queen St W

Whenever I cover corporate events, I always make sure that my card wallet is full in case a potential client asks for cards. So one day I was getting ready to head out to an event and went to refill my card wallet and I realized that I was surprisingly low on cards. I wasn’t sure what to do as I didn’t have much time.  I always receive promotional emails from Vistaprint and I have ordered a set of USB flash drives from them in the past and they had a sale on business cards so I ordered a set of 500 cards from them. They have a numerous amount of choices for business cards depending on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend. This latest edition will actually have my face on it. The photo is one of my favourite pictures of me. Another thing that I enjoy about it is related to photography.  It was taken by the talented Justine Apple at her home studio in North York. The other side of the card is from an aerial shot that I took from a helicopter a couple summers ago.

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Latest version of my card from Vistaprint
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First cards with my image. Photo by Justine Apple
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Aerial shot I took from a helicopter

So I’ve gone from someone that bought a camera to pass the time, to go through three different iterations of business cards. You never know what the future holds. Sometimes you go with the flow, sometimes you become the flow.

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The evolution of my business cards

Back in Business

 

As September marks back to school for kids, September also marked a new beginning for me as well. In July the tiles in my basement started to pop up from the floor. To this day, we’re not sure what caused that to happen. So some tiles had to be removed and replaced. It was a very dirty job the whole basement was covered in dust but after 6 about weeks of re-tiling, painting, and cleaning, the basement is functional again.

During the time where my home studio was out of service, I had to adapt. It’s like that saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I had to adapt to my situation so I focused more on doing events such as baby showers and birthdays and doing more jobs on location.

My first client for my grand re-opening was Sharifah Weir of Love Thick Apparel. Now, this isn’t the first time working with Sharifah we did a product shoot a couple years ago when she was starting out. She’s doing quite well and I like the campaign that she’s running with her “Women are Dope” line and inspiring women of all shapes and sizes to be self-confident and role models.

The next client was from a new clothing line called Totally African. Here in Toronto where there are so many cultures and we embrace and borrow from each other, this line is great for people that love the colours and designs of African fashion. We just started working together but I hope that we can grow together and I always try to support young businesses.

So the home studio is back up and running. I still have to put the pictures back on the wall but I’M BACK!! So contact me at Degrey Photography for your family portraits, headshots, and photo shoots.