The Silver Lining to a Weird Cloud

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve seen this face a lot lately.  Her name is Adrieanna Gaston, and she’s my latest muse.

Finding Adrieanna is also a little win for me in the up-and-down road of starting a business.  I met her through a contest I ran in the Phoenix area to give away some free head shot sessions for joining my email list.  I got tons of entries and was feeling really confident about the direction the business was headed.  I chose nine email addresses at random (one for every 50 entries) and notified them that they’d won. 

And then I waited.  Only one out of the nine responded.  I’d had over 400 entries and only one out of nine winners responded?  That can’t be right.  So I emailed again.  One more made an appointment. 

Long story short:  I had trouble getting people to show up for this free thing I was giving away.  I learned that people are either suspicious of or don’t value something free.  I was frustrated and more than a little defeated.  I’d pretty much written off the whole contest thing—until Adrieanna walked in.

She’d been very responsive, made an appointment right away, and was eager to get going.  I knew nothing other than that she was a college student and dancer.  Imagine my surprise when this tall, beautiful young woman with gorgeous almond-shaped eyes walked into my studio!

Adrieanna was easy and comfortable in front of the camera, and she hit every pose and expression I asked for.  She was alternately sexy and adorable and genuinely seemed to have no idea how much the camera loved her.  When I finished editing the photos a few weeks later, I emailed her and pretty much demanded she get a modeling agent.  I’ve never done that with a subject.  And she was a free contest shoot!  On top of it all, she was a smart, sweet girl who was more than appreciative of what I do.  That goes a long way with me! 

The moral of the story is that even though the contest wasn’t 100% smooth, I met—and have yet to meet—some really great people through it. I was reminded to keep plugging away through perceived setbacks because something good is right around the corner.  I have a few more winners to shoot, and I can’t wait to show you the results.  For now, enjoy these photos of Adrieanna Gaston.  I believe she’s got a great career in modeling ahead if she decides to pursue it!