Monday, September 21, 2009

Wedding worries

Last season on So You Think You Can Dance,
I heard choreographer Mia Michaels
say that she feels like she is going to throw up
every time her choreography is performed.
She went on to say that it is that type of excitment
mixed with fear that keeps her striving to
produce her best work.
I love it when experts in their field are transparent enough
to admit that they are scared to death of not being able to
perform to their highest ability.

So many times, I just assume that at that level,
they have it down.
Nothing really rattles them and they can
fully trust their own ability to knock it out
of the park every single time.
It's nice to know that even with that kind of success,
the butterflies still flutter against their confidence
and keeps them running from failure.

I am fully aware that one never gets there.
If one is truely striving for the highest,
they never really get to the place
where they feel completely comfortable.
And if they do,
maybe its time to move on.
It is the very presence of those butterflies,
that lump in your throat,
that worry that you will fall short,
that keeps you pushing toward your own personal best.

So how does all of this apply to me and the
gorgeous wedding photos I've posted here?
The butterflies totally got me.
They almost won too,
but very recently,
I decided to use them to better myself
instead of taking their fluttering as a sign that I will never be as
good as I think I should be,
and should just quit before I embarrass myself,
or worse yet, disappoint someone.
I turned down four weddings in the past year because
of those butterflies.
Ironically, weddings, especially destination weddings,
is something that I see David and I
doing together in the future,
and yet it is the thing I am most afraid of.
I have never shot a wedding on my own.
It has never been my responsibility to get
"the shot", or to make sure
that the wedding couple's story is told
beautifully though my eyes.
I've been a second shooter a few times,
but for very small weddings of friends.

So, when Carmen called me,
the first thing I wanted to say was,
"I'm not very good. Are you sure you want me?"

But instead, I swallowed all that fear
and acted like I knew what I was doing.
When she told me that it would be a backyard wedding,
I knew that I had a chance because natural light
is clearly my thing.
When she told me that she was looking for a
journalistic style of wedding photography,
I knew that my chances of success were getting better
and better.
Maybe I really can do this!

I decided to just feel my way through the whole day
and finally face the fear of failure by
jumping right in to what scared me the most.
That doesn't mean I didn't worry myself to death over it
and spend hours researching new information
and re-reading things I already knew.
It just means that I relied heavily on what I know.
Photography is emotional.
For me it is 90% feeling and 10% techincal.
I know what I think is beautiful.
I know what moments will be cherished 50 years from now
and I know how to capture that.
That's all I needed.

It didn't matter that it was the absolute
brightest day of the year...
and hottest too!
It didn't matter that I don't have the latest and greatest
photography equipment.
All that mattered was that I poured my heart and soul
into telling the story of Carmen and Sonny's
special day in the most beautiful way
I knew how to do.

And that I was brave enough to do it.
David was my second shooter.
He's been working with my d50 for about a year
and is quite good at it.
He was such an asset to me that day.
I'm so proud of him for stepping out of his
comfort zone and getting some awesome shots,
including the one below!
I love how he framed Carmen and Sonny
and captured the expression on her face.

Thank you Carmen and Sonny for having
more confidence in me in the beginning than I had
in myself!
David and I wish you many, many years of happiness!!


Laura said...

Wow i love what you wrote here. I feel like I am not good, I am down on every single shot I take sucks more when I have people I know tell me oh I love some of these and then only tell me its one shot out of like 20, sometimes it doesn't make it seem like its worth it. Criticism can be a good thing and should be welcomed as it can hopefully only better you even more, but when its heard alot its sometimes a crushing blow.

None of that what so ever applies to you because when I look at your photos no matter what the subject is, where, the day, the time, the setting, every shot tells a photo, a feeling, it's pure.

Once again thank you for sharing your amazing work with the world!

Anonymous said...

You are definitely talented :) The pictures are beautiful and I can't imagine anyone could have done a better job. If my husband and I ever have a "real wedding"...I'll be getting in touch. We got married in our Levis at the courthouse..tee hee hee


JOY said...

Real life!! you captured it .OOXX

Cheryl said...

Truly, these are wonderful, fantastic and beautiful pictures. You don't have to worry about your talent ever again. You've passed the test!