Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bare Truths: Learning from Every Experience

The wedding I last posted was shot with my most favorite wedding photographer, fromIndianapolis, Jessica Strickland and her studio manager, Erika Duncan. I was, technically speaking, shadowing Jessica: watching what she does and learning from her experience. Though, I admit, I was a bundle of nerves on my way to the Sheraton in downtown Indy, I was greeted by two of the sweetest photographers I've ever worked with. On top of that, Jess really treated me like one of her crew, which I really appreciated. She allowed me to take whatever photos I wanted and be as creative as I felt appropriate, and that in itself really helped with my nervousness throughout the day. I really had a great time shooting with Jess and Erika and I wish I could do it every weekend! Ok, maybe my limbs could only handle every two weeks, but I'd still do it weekly if I could!

...if only I lived in Indy...

When I got back to the house after the wedding, completely wiped but high on adrenaline, I started uploading the photos from my cards (something I'm usually too exhausted to do the night of). As I skimmed over the first few, I realized that there were some blurry shots, some pointless shots, some almost tourist "saw a wedding on the side of the road" shots and I couldn't help but start in with negativity and questioning, "what happened?"

Maybe I was just too nervous, getting into it.. and I went to bed while the rest of my images imported into Lightroom.

Over the next couple of weeks I did a cull of my images, trying to save as many as possible from my overly critical eye. But still, something seemed to be wrong with most of them. Something was off.

When it comes to times and events like this, I think my problem is in looking for the unacceptable in my photos. Whether it is because I feel like I'm not going to measure up to an instructors standards, or a fellow shooter's, somehow I'm always afraid of a lack of approval, and ultimately, I pin everything on myself. "I didn't do this," or, "I forgot to check THAT.." and I end up discouraging myself and feeling defeated.

After I had seen Jessica's blog on the wedding, I'm even more disappointed in myself. This time, it is more so because I've learned quite a bit since then. I've learned a little more about being a second/third shooter, after having watched Jasmine Star's CreativeLIVE workshop this summer. As I looked at Jess's shots, I thought, well, I tried to recreate her shots. Maybe I was thinking, I could commit them to memory through shooting them myself, and really I cheated myself. I know now that I should have be gotten different angles, shooting things Jess couldn't see from her angle. I felt like I didn't allow myself to experiment enough that day. I do remember thinking about it, but I don't think I new what it meant. I am not used to being able to think creatively for those types of events. I often lose my ideas to the overwhelming idea that I need to get what's important first and then I never get around to making photos for myself. I feel like I am still struggling with understanding how to be an individual artist rather than one who mimics other artists. But anyway, I know now, given another chance, I would do much better at second shooting. So, if anyone is reading who would like to give me that chance, feel free to email me. :) But until I get that chance again, I'll be working on securing my own events and making myself a better photographer.

So, counting now every experience, good or bad, as a learning experience, I'm signing off.

1 comment:

Jessica Strickland said... are soo special. I love your honesty in this post. I've been 100% in your shoes, every feeling, every thought, every bit of feeling discouraged, desperately trying to find my own voice. And if any other artist or photographer or whatever was being honest, they would tell you that they have been there too and know the feeling very well. Going through that is just part of the process of becoming an artist. You don't find your voice without experiences like this that help you see what you do and don't want to become and how to get there. The challenge for most of us is embracing those feelings and using them as something to learn from..but the great thing about you is that you are already doing that! You are wise beyond your years!

The thing is, ARE a great photographer!!!! Erika and I both agreed after we saw your images from the wedding!!

Next time you want to come to Indy for the weekend...just let me know!! Erika and I would love to have you at another wedding!!