Friday, January 20, 2017

Living Outside my Comfort Zone

This post is for myself, to reflect on years from now.

I called my husband on the way to a shoot.  I had had a glass of wine, half a bottle of tums and was working my way through a pack of tic tacs.  I had made myself sick with fear and insecurity.

I told him "this is why people don't do the things they want to do, because it is scary!"  Like usual, I have spent days leading up to a shoot worrying.  And it is stupid, because I know I know what to do! I know how to interact with strangers.  I know how to work my camera and deal with various lighting challenges.  I know my vision.  I love crafting the perfect image!  In the end I almost always end up having a great time with the people I am lucky enough to take images for! I come prepared, with backup equipment to back up my back up equipment.  And still, that inner trader within me screams out all the things that could go wrong... and worst it nag at me "What if they don't like your photos?!"  "You are no good!" 

That inner trader gets historical and starts thinking negative thoughts.  "Remember when you messed up that one time!"  "Remember when someone important to you said you were too old to be chasing your dreams!"  "Remember when you admired that other person's photographs, you can never be that good!"  And on and on and on....Feeding my brain unhealthy thoughts that weigh me down into self defeat before I even get started. There is no time or room for this self doubt because as a photographer I have to be confident and in control of the shoot.  

It appears easy to live that life that your parents and others expect for you, especially when they helped pave the road towards what they believe was best.  It is all to easy to blend into the crowd, and hide behind what is familiar.  It is seamless and acceptable to let the daily grind get in the way, and help you make excuses for why NOW is not the right time.  I ask myself if now is not the right time, then which tomorrow that follows will actually be the right one to take the brave steps towards what I feel compelled to do?  Am I going to continue let society and important people write my script for me and just do what is comfortable?

In August I left a great paying job and traded down in order to make my hobby a career.  It is so easy to beat myself up when I don't make the sale.   My preconceived notions that I have inside my head start up,  "Your not contributing enough!"   Or when I take photos that don't meet my expectations, I cut myself down.  Or I don't charge what I am worth...because I doubt my worth!  I lack the focus and discipline that are needed to master my craft to become who I envision.

In an article that I recently read, this saying cut me to my core...
What if on the day you die, you get to meet the person you could have been?

I have to continual remind myself of how far I have come.  It has been a little over a year now since I have been photographing newborns at the local hospitals.  I remember those first few weeks when I was let lose on my own.... I was terrified.  In fact I would actually get sick when I arrived at the hospital. Each door represents a new family, a new situation, maybe even a new story to add to my collection of oddities, or a new friend.  I still get nervous someday's as I stand on the other side of the door ready to knock.  However, I don't worry about the lighting or if the baby will stop crying, or what I will say.  I have learned these things.  They have become easier to do with each new experience.

I got to do a Christmas shoot with Santa last month, and a handful of mom's gushed over their growing babies that I had take pictures of at the hospital.  They remembered me, and that experience. I love the idea that so many images that I have taken are framed on family walls, or posted on facebook, tucked away in wallets, as a reminder of that story in their life at that time.  I am honored to be a part of births, weddings, graduations and various celebrations.  Especially the ones so close to me!

Today I got a new lens!  Trying it out tonight with Macey who took her hover board to the street!

She whips around this house as if this devise was a pair of slippers... the Sunset Avenue was a bit different!

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