Let me tell you a secret.
I’m kind of shy. Ok, really shy. Like, I might have a panic attack next time I have to speak to a crowd (and two people count as a crowd).Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But still. I keep to myself a lot. Even though I love meeting people and I find everyone infinitely intriguing.
And I think that’s one of the worst traits to have as a photographer. I’m so comfortable using a camera that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be on the other side of it. I sometimes forget how helpful is to get some direction or feedback. To hear that yes, that pose is awesome! You look so good! Or move this way a little and that way a little and put your arm there… perfect.
Sometimes it’s a little hard for me to just speak up, and I don’t really understand why. I guess I’m just shy. But every morning I tell myself to suck it up and get over it. To push myself out of my comfort zone. And it usually works. And I go out and tell myself to speak and interact and do things I don’t think I actually want to do. And then I do them and the world doesn’t explode just because I said actual words and everything is okay!
And sometimes (well, a lot of times) I get to work with ridiculously wonderful people that make me forget all of that. People who I have such a great time photographing that I don’t feel like a stranger. I don’t feel awkward. And that’s really really good, because if I feel awkward then you feel awkward and we just get awkward photos. And I really don’t want awkward photos, I want AWESOME photos, and you probably do too.
Like Adrienne and James. I went to meet with them for this engagement shoot and I was a little nervous. But after about 2.7 seconds with them I saw how totally awesome they are. Because they are so good with each other, and were laughing and smiling the whole time, and were so comfortable and so sincere. Instantly all my awkward and nervous melted away and the awesome and amazing took it’s place.
And that’s just one more thing I totally love about what I do. It pushes me. It pushes me so far out of my comfort zone, I usually have trouble finding it again. It pushes me to speak and do. It pushes me to dance around with a red scarf in a photobooth in front of 10,000+ people walking around. It pushes me to climb railings and chairs and tables and whatevers just to get the shot because who cares who’s staring at me. It pushes me to do things I wouldn’t dare do otherwise, and I freaking love it.