She had me from “head wreath.”
I was so excited about this session, and not just because I was getting to photograph a pretty floral crown, but because I was getting to meet a couple of new folks AND wade around in the creek at that. Fo shizzle.
I was a little nervous.
I always get nervous about things. No ulcers quite yet from stomach stress, but you might as well just call me Queen Worry Wart. I think my personality is predisposed to biting fingernails and a tapping foot.
It’s genes, I tell you! Genes!
But no seriously- I get so nervous before sessions. My mom tells me that it’s a good thing. That it keeps me on my game. That it makes me constantly challenge myself.
She says if I didn’t get worried, she would be worried.
It keeps you on your toes! She exclaimed to me on the way over to this shoot, A little worry never hurt anyone, dear. You’ll do great today!
I just don’t understand why I still get a stomach tied in knots. Shouldn’t I be over this by now?? I whined into the phone. I don’t like feeling uneasy and it showed.
Nope. You’re an artist, she said soothingly into the receiver. You’re always going to challenge yourself to create something new for everyone. You put the pressure on yourself to make this the best engagement yet, and that kind of pressure can make you worry. It just means you’re still shooting like the first day you picked up your camera.
I sat there. I let it sink it. She was right. (Mom: Go ahead and print this post out. You can even highlight that sentence and put it on the fridge!!)
She really was right, though.
I guess I could sit here and tell you all I wasn’t worried in the least. I could exude such confidence and assurance as any professional should…. right? Hmm.. I guess I could do that. Act like someone I’m not or just pretend that I’m always on point with my f-stop and shutter speed. I guess I could do that.
Or maybe I should? With people out there reading, it does seem quite easy to swing that way, to comment on how I shoot and for how long. But then.. well, then I’d lose something.
I’d lose me, and you all know how these blog posts are in avoidance of just that. These posts are my fighting stand, with my fists in the air, and a big ole toothy grin: I’m baring it all.
And the best part? I’m totally okay with that because in world filled with lots of deceit, it simply is just so refreshing to sit down and read a bit of truth.
Are you with me?
It rang in my head the last comment my mom made on the phone… about shooting like that first time I picked up my camera. I really do, though. Not technically of course, I have been able to teach myself a lot since first receiving one on my 21st birthday. But as in fervor… as in gumption… as in a “holy heck I had an idea!!!!!!” kinda way.
I shoot like I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.
I think it’s easy to forget when you start doing things as a career, why you started in the first place. There are down days, rough days, and days that make you just wanna throw in the towel. This is pretty standard I feel for anyone.
And then there are days when some greater good opens up the curtains and shows you in the brightest way, why you came to where you are. It’s the best feeling in the world, really. Some kind of amazing reassurance that you made the right decision.
Shooting like I did when I first started is always that ah-hah moment for me. As photographers, we spend a lot of time staring at our computers. They become our best friends and should rightly deserve a name. We work so much in post-process, that the shooting part actually becomes quite minimal in the work week.
When I step back and think about it, of course I would worry. I’ve looked forward to this shoot for days, weeks even. This is my chance to get out there and take things to a new level. To work on my skill and my accuracy. To make myself a better photographer while capturing the couple in the best way I know how.
I felt content in my worry and stress.
I realized it wasn’t a bad thing, nor was it something to ignore. It was kind of a good thing if anything at all. I loved it actually.
Whoa. Talk about a revelation. I know, right?
So when I showed up for Sara & Taylor’s shoot. I was in a rare form: so happily nervous that my little heart just fluttered as I popped out of my car and introduced myself to them both.
They smiled warmly back and me, and for the first time in a long long time I felt like relaxed. It wasn’t because I shrugged the nervous feeling off, but it was because I embraced it and realized that it would help me if I let it. It could be the best driving force I had come across yet, and I think this Eureka! moment showed all over my face.
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start this shoot. Things were just going so peachy.
Sara & Taylor are as laid back as they come, bare feet and ankle-deep in the creek, they laughed together and tip-toed around the anything but smooth creek bottom. We laughed as we endured the pain of the jagged rocks, and balanced ourselves with arms outstretched as we navigated to different parts of the water.
If you haven’t checked out the post where I chatted about engagement sessions and why they rock, you totally should.
This one was just another testament to that. We had a blast on this afternoon. I am an earthy, go-lay-in-a-field-somewhere kinda gal. So when couples get out in the thick of nature with me, it makes me want to give them one big giant photo hug.
We talked about music, about festivals, about shows in Nashville. We chatted about their plans for married life and about the wedding itself.
We bonded over Bonnaroo. Yes, it does bring people together.
It was the best kind of afternoon to celebrate a couple in love, and to make a new friendship as well.
Loved these two and their contagious happiness for life and each other.
It’s picture time!! Oh yeah. So stoked.