Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lessons from the Pros

Last year I took some photography classes, just for my own satisfaction. At first I just wanted to learn how my camera worked. But one class led to another and I decided to go for the certification program.

 Mission accomplished in December!

For the most part, it was an enjoyable time. But I did discover a deep insecurity that really should not exist by this point in my life. The company of other really good photographers, even though they're amateurs like me, was intimidating.

One class (wedding photography) in particular was actually very unpleasant. By the end of it, I thought my work was crap. I put that folder of pictures away and haven't looked at them for about six months. But the other day, I came across it and opened it, wondering what all was in there. I was shocked. At first I thought they were another student's collection but it was mine. They were great. Every bit as good as anything else I've seen in the field (long-seasoned pros excepted). I'm not bragging. I just want to convey my sense of amazement that I actually took those pictures.

I've been reading books and articles by/about photographers whose work I've always admired and studying their photographs. It's been a real wide aperature (ok, that was lame. it's been an eye-opener). We just assume it's easy for them, nothing ever goes wrong, they never miss the shot, never deal with difficulties. Not true. The best of them have the same challenges we do. Kinda reassuring, in a way.

What I'm learning from them is this: follow your instincts; embrace your style; be yourself. Just take pictures. There's really no right or wrong, except to just give up.

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