If you don't already know me, I'm a perfectionist & if I don't learn something new right away, I'm convinced that I suck & people don't like what they see. I'm constantly thinking how I should be a better photographer than I am & probably need to give it up all together...Right??? If I'm asking me, I'm screaming back with a "Heck Yeah!!!" but if it's Jon, he points out the fact that people really love what I create, that I'm only getting better with each session & how much fun I'm having doing what I love. I usually whisper back to myself "...I still suck" but I soak up his words of love like a thirsty summer flower struggling to bloom. I'm learning you can't rush something good no matter how bad you want it. Just like surgeons, pilots, fishermen & even old stinky cheese, they take time. Time to learn, fail, grow, experience, (or ferment) then sometimes fail again. Photography is no different, it takes 5+ years to perfect (sometimes even longer).
In light of overcoming my lack of perfection, I took a little time off from editing & decided to read a few other photographers blogs. They reminded me I'm not the only one who feels this way, (even the part of photographing my own foot when 1st learning camera settings, ha ha, can't believe I did that & admitting it to everybody), I really wasn't alone & while reading on, I stumbled onto some encouraging words to grow with...
-God, Jon & my kids love me no matter how good or bad of a photographer I think I am. This is always first & foremost & what I realized during the reads.
-"Stop comparing myself to other photographers, focus on myself." I'm not going to get any better unless I get out there, pick up my camera & keep doing what I love. One of my 2011 goals is to attend a local photography workshop/class & continue to grow, especially in much needed confidence.
-"Shake negativity, gossip & what others are saying (and in my case, what I Think they're saying). Consider the source, consider the value, if the source isn't in your 'inner circle' then give it no value". That's a revamped quote from Jasmine Star (an absolutely awesome LA wedding photographer, I Love her blog) & the hardest one for me to live by. I can only learn from my mistakes (and I do), of course everybody makes them so what makes me any different. I could keep feeling sorry for myself but reality is, I'm going to fail, that's just the way it is. But as I learn from those failures, I only get better & will keep getting better with time. I can't let peoples ideas & opinions of me, bring me down. I need to mentally walk away from the "office water cooler".
-"What I might think is a horrible photo, might be somebody else's best." I never thought of that way but realized, I too used to photograph my first child with an old 110 & I have so many blurry, up the nose shots of him. Really, whoever thought I would have come this far in just over 20 years (ha ha). In reality it's been just over 2 years since owning an SLR digital camera, purchasing over 30 photography books & realizing there's no limit when expressing emotion in a photograph. I really need to cut myself some slack, easily said than done.
-"Although I may not do photography the 'right' way, I'm not doing it 'wrong' either". I don't think I'm the best I can be (yet) so I keep learning the rules, applying them & throwing them out the window all in the same snap of the shutter. Everybody see's things differently.
Doesn't this advice work in everybodies life, just replace photographer with who You are.
Now, since I got that out of the way, I need to share some good family news & the real reason for this post. Yesterday I got to meet Jenifer (and her incredibly beautiful closed mouth smile), the wife of my nephew Adam & their brand new baby girl Emily Ann. From the moment I met Jen, she gave me that comfortable, easy going, whatever you want to do attitude. "NICE!" (as my daughter would say). And it was a nice, warm, welcoming feeling, (I thank you for that Jen).
I started seeing how they interacted with each other & I have to say...I was blown away. I love how much they love each other, the patience they have for one another, the kind respectful way they speak to each other, the way they absolutely LOVE being first time parents & how they have no idea how much photo stalking Aunt Kim will be doing on my brand new great-niece. I had the best time, I opened up verbally, told them what I wanted to "see" & the photos came out sooooo good. I am so proud of myself, Finally!!! Maybe there is a little truth to what Jon keeps telling me but I'll be honest, it's a good feeling when people accept my style of photography, maybe it's not so "weird" after all. I came so far out of my shell during this session, I felt myself growing in self confidence (insert long exhaul here).
This photo is my absolute favorite of the day & almost made me cry when I seen it for the 1st time on my computer screen, didn't I tell you Jen had a beautiful smile. What a sweet photo, I will post more soon. Thank you & Congratulations to Adam & Jen, what great parents you will be. See you soon, are you busy tomorrow? ;)