Journey. Not a Sprint.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lately, during most of my "free" time, I've been working on my photography--I've even had a few more photo sessions!

My investment in this hobby (or whatever it's going to be for me) is part of the reason I've been such a poor blogger lately. Much of what I post is about what's going on in my life, but in an effort to draw some lines for myself and keep personal and "professional" separate, I don't feel like it's appropriate to share my photos here--as much as I may want to! When they're my personal photos, sure, but when they're for clients? Not so much. But I can at least tell you that I think things are going really well.

On Monday, I had a session with a precious little 14-month-old girl, and as soon as I downloaded the pics to my computer, I was doing the happy clap. Even before any editing, as I was looking through the images, it was the first session where I actually felt that I "rocked it." This is a big thing for me, as I'm my own worst critic.

Back in May/June/July, when I did a session, I'd take 200 snaps and I'd be lucky if I could find 10 images that I felt were worth keeping and editing. Now, I'm still taking tons of photos, but I actually have to narrow them down to absolute favorites, because otherwise, I'd be spending way too much time editing pics from one session. Now, it's common for me to pick out 30-40 photos that I want to edit. I love that. But I can really only edit 20-25 for the client, so I'm forced to narrow them down even further, which is hard, but a good problem to have, right?

Don't get me wrong, I am still learning every single day, but I am starting to feel more confident and comfortable with my ability. That's really been half the battle for me.

What's funny is that I look back at photos I took five months ago and cringe. At the time, I thought I was doing a good job, but now I look at them and think "Oh, they could've been SO MUCH BETTER." It's useful to look back to see how far I've come, but I have to stop doing it. I have to remember that they're memories nonetheless, and I had to start somewhere. I'm sure that five months from now, I'll look back at my current photos, and they'll make me cringe, too. The journey just never ends.

After the success of the session the other day, I suddenly had the urge to do more--quickly! I'm really hoping to squeeze in another handful of sessions before the weather really turns. The colors and light are so beautiful right now, and the wardrobe and accessories (jeans, sweaters, hats, scarves, etc.) are so adorable on little ones. But since I'm working solely with people who have heard about me through word of mouth, it's been somewhat challenging to get new subjects in front of my lens.

My other motivation is to make a little extra cash so that I can justify the camera upgrade that I so desperately want right now. CHA-CHING! Until then, I'm still plugging away with what I have. I have to keep fine-tuning the basics, because when I get a new camera with way more bells and whistles than I've had previously, it's probably going to set me back a bit because I'll have to take the time to learn it all. I'm hoping to do all of my learning in the dreary winter months so that I can hit the ground running once we thaw out again.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...


Mrs. D October 16, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

Congratulations on this exciting venture! It sounds like you are making amazing progress. As a long time reader, of course I'd love to see your photos. Any chance of you setting up a professional blog/site? If so, do share it with your readers!

Am not sure if your other readers would be interested, but I'd love to hear tips on taking good photos... Or even some interesting things you've learned about marriage.

Lynsey Kaye October 16, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

I have the same question as Mrs. D - will you be setting up a professional blog/site? I am sure there are many of us who would love to see your photography work.

Kylee Wall October 16, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

While I understand your desire to separate personal and professional, I think photo blogs are an excellent way to grow as an artist. Blogging the best client photos not only gets you feedback, but it also showcases your work and makes it easier for people to book your services. I think you should really consider doing one.

Coming from a video background, I totally get what you mean by cringing at old work and then having sessions just "click". I can also tell that you have a natural ability to capture a moment. I actually blogged this in my professional blog recetnyly.. I noticed someone on my FB had been taking pictures a lot and feeling like they're growing as a photographer, much like you, but they have absolutely no natural ability to capture anything. The moments they capture are meaningless, and their framing is ALWAYS emotion or risk. But they know how to push the buttons and work the formulas, so they think they rock.

It's refreshing to see someone truly growing as an artist, and not growing an ego.

Sara October 16, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

What camera are you thinking of upgrading to? Have you taken any classes or are you self taught? I have been using a canon rebel xsi and I will probably stick with canon for life. I'm sold. My friend has a canon 5d which he LOVES!!!!!

Cheryl October 16, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

Sounds exciting! Just a detail, but your black bean and tortilla soup isn't in your recipe index :) Well, I couldn't find it (I could be crazy.) Just served it to a very happy guest! Thanks!

Heather October 20, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

Mrs. D & Lynsey--I am definitely going to get a website, or at least a blog, up and running for my photography. I just haven't had the time to do it yet. Hopefully once the weather turns and I don't have much opportunity for photo sessions, I'll be able to take more time to work on that. Once that happens, I'll have to figure out the best way to share it, as I don't really want to have my personal and professional blogs "linked" in any way, either.

Kylee--I really appreciate your feedback!

Sara--I am self taught. Everything I know, I've learned from the web (Google searching tutorials) and through practice. For the upgrade, I'm looking at a 5D or 7D.

Cheryl--Thanks for the heads up. I'm usually pretty bad about going into the recipe index and updating immediately, but I do update it every couple of weeks at least. You've reminded me I have to go in and add my latest additions. :)

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