Recently I was looking through some older sessions of mine, reflecting on the growth and changes I've gone though since beginning on this journey, which started 3 years ago. When I first began taking pictures way back when just of trips and then my first born, I used a point and shoot canon camera. When I was presented with my first SLR camera I was completely overwhelmed by it. It seemed like there were way too many buttons and dials and features that I would never understand. I started using it on auto, but I hated when the flash would pop up.... Like Hated it!! SO that forced me to learn manual. Which really wasn't that hard to do. I learned quite a bit and just practiced. Practiced all the time. I would take my boys out and practice on them as often as I could. Right away I could see the difference in my photos, and could see the way I was framing photos, and seeing them was changing. I felt like this camera was on my side, working with me, which was great. I then started having people ask me to do their photos. I couldn't believe it. I was honoured and scared. I'd never been asked such a task.
SO I did. I started off with a friend of mine and her son. I figured it wouldn't be that hard, a little boy - which I was very familiar of taking photos of, and his mom. The first few shots I was shaking. It was crazy. SO much adrenaline. I guess the pressure of having to take a good photo of someone else was a lot more than I'd expected. But soon after I began seeing the images I was capturing I started to calm down, and then it all just felt natural. I don't know any photographer that doesn't get nervous before a shoot, I mean its an art form straight from my heart and soul. What and how I see things, which to some, may not be spectacular, so that pressures always there. But it's good nerves these days, excited, creative, all over the place nerves..
Here's a few photos from this session
After doing Mandie's session, I gained a sense of confidence. I was really happy with the outcome. And couldn't wait to share them with her. At this point for me, it was all about seeing their expression or hearing their feedback to the photos. And she was happy! I was happy. It was great. So I had my little canon rebel xti and one lens, my 28-135mm, and I started doing more photos for friends. Anytime someone would ask I was honoured. Another one in the early stages was for another friend of mine Jordan. She had a little baby girl and wanted photos of them and her mom. Of course! It was fall, and it was beautiful... And I was once again so happy with the outcome. And so was she, and a little more confidence started to grow.
I could already tell at this point that my style was more of a lifestyle photographer. The pure raw emotions that I could see through the lens were the ones I wanted to capture. Sure I'll always throw in some posed-ish ones, or I will direct you to stand a certain way, but they usually end up looking natural. I love telling your story. And this is my goal, to portray this moment in time in your life.
A few more from the first few times of other people....
SO I guess in the last few years I can see how much I've evolved as a photographer. I know I still have so much learning and growing to do, and I'm looking forward to it. These days I'm very fortunate to have a canon mark ii 5D. Which is a huge upgrade from my last body. I still have my same lens plus a 50mm now, which I love. And feel pretty confident with these ones. I'd love to be able to add more to my collection but unfortunately lenses are crazy expensive and I just don't have that kind of cash... however, I recently found out I can rent them, which is amazing. But it also comes with a lot of anxiety... that old saying "you break it, you buy it" scares the living out of me with a rental...!
Now that I've rambled, I hope to have shared my story with you and how I have got to this point. So many of you helped me get to where I am. Your extra confidence in me is what reflects where I am today. I'm doing this full time, although I'm not as busy as I'd like, I know it takes time to build a business. Its a hard industry, lots of photographers out there. so when someone chooses me I'm thrilled. When I email you and say "thank you, I'm honoured" - I mean it.