Saturday, December 6, 2008

Photo frenzy

So I'm still a little bit overwhelmed with the fact that I'm doing a shoot for a national magazine! The night that I was offered the job I had bad dreams all night about photography. I kept trying to take pictures of things, but my camera wouldn't work, I misunderstood the assignment, my equipment was too heavy (and for some reason I was pregnant!), and then I gave up and went to get in my car and someone had stolen it. So I tried to call Shawn on my cellphone but I couldn't get the number right and the buttons didn't work. I woke up in a horrible panic wondering if I was completely crazy to think that I could shoot for a magazine!

Because I sort of fell into photography by accident and am mostly self taught, I sometimes feel like I'm totally faking it, lol. I don't have years of training, a degree in photography or hundreds of hours of apprentiship. I became a photographer totally by accident.

I wanted better photos of my kids so I bought a nice camera. Then I realized that I didn't know how to USE my nice camera, so I found a professional photographer who agreed to let me pick his brain and he was awesome about teaching me and letting me follow him around watching him work. Then my kids got sick of me practicing on them so I started taking photos of random things like toys, birds, flowers, etc. just to practice. As I found new things to shoot I realized that I needed different equipment for different types of photos, so I bought a few lenses, lighting, filters, and eventually a nicer camera when I outgrew the first one. It was purely entertainment for me to study a technique and then learn how to copy it. Things like sillouhettes and shallow depth of field shots were things I taught myself purely to amuse myself, not because I was planning to sell them. When I was going through my anxiety problems it was the way I calmed myself down. Focusing on how to get a complicated shot was how I kept my mind from worrying about other things. The worse the anxiety got the harder I worked at the photography. It was simply a distraction and an outlet. Photography is very calming to me. (well, except when I'm having nightmares about it!)

Then to my amazement people started asking how they could buy my photos. I never intended to sell them, but I certainly wasn't going to turn someone down if they wanted to pay me for them! So then I realized that maybe I wasn't half bad at it so I took more photos and those sold too. By then I had several people asking me if I had a website, so I made one. It snowballed and snowballed and the next thing I know a magazine is calling me to shoot their cover story! Frankly, I'm still a little dumbfounded by the whole thing. :)

So I've been seriously panicking for the past couple of days and totally second guessing myself. What did I just get myself into?!!

Thank goodness for Shawn, who has given me about a hundred pep talks over the past couple of days. I don't know what I'd do without him. He's been my voice of reason for years. I'm not doing the main shoot until next Wednesday, but I decided to go over there this morning and just do some test shots, get a feel for the lighting and make sure that I know what I'm doing. And to my surprise I DIDN'T totally blow it! I know what I'm doing, why did I psyche myself out so badly? The store isn't that big, so there aren't a ton of shots that I have to get. The lighting is a little tricky, but manageable. I'm going to be just fine. I'm going to go back over there on Monday or Tuesday and hopefully get the rest of the store shots I need and then Wednesday afternoon I'm shooting the employees. In a month or so I'll have a fun souvineer to look at of of my first magazine shoot and life will continue. No need to panic and have nightmares, right?! :)

So now that I've taken a few shots I'm not really panicking anymore. Right now I'm mostly just excited about the opportunity ahead of me. This will be a fun adventure, plus it will give me something exciting to blog about! Wasn't it just two days ago that I was saying how boring my life was right now? I totally take that back! :)


Lisa said...

I've seen your photos. They're beautiful! You're going to do great :-)

Jenn said...

I hope your shoot's going the way you wanted it too! I really hope you post the pictures from the mag. when it comes out because I can't wait to see it!