Sometimes, I expend an extraordinary amount of energy wasted on stressing over stupid things that I shouldn't be stressing about.
My lack of confidence in my own abilities is something that I've been working to overcome, but I find that on the occasion the excrucitaing insecurity will come flying back at me with the full force of a frieght train. I don't know why this happens, and I end up mentally beating myself up over it.
If you're a long time reader, you'll know that I love photography. I majored in Fine Art Photography through uni and graduated with a distinction, and now I adore teaching photography from year 9 to 12. Simply put, nearly every day I'll capture an image of some description, whether it be on my digital SLR, iphone or webcam.
I'm more than happy taking photos for myself, but the moment someone asks me to photograph something for them I start to panic internally. My biggest fear, I guess, is the fact that I may let them down.
This, times a thousand, on someone's wedding day.
Photography can be subjective. What is an expression of beauty and art to one is empty and lacks emotion to another. I have my own photography quirks, I know what speaks to me and I just have that tiny fear that a client wouldn't be able to see what I see, and, once again, I let them down.
One of my dearest friends asked me about a month ago if I would be the photographer for her surprise wedding. While extremely flattered, I heard myself trying to talk her out of it, while she continued to insist that she loved my work and that I would be perfectly fine. I hesitantly agreed, all the while downplaying my abilities to ensure she didn't get her hopes up, then hung up.
From that moment on, the nerves hit me full force. It nibbled and niggled away at me and the days began to fall away until it was the night before. And then, the actual day.
It was completely overcast and drizzled the whole time. My fingers shook and I downed a glass of wine before she arrived, and then my heart went into overdrive the moment the car turned into the driveway.
But, you know what? The minute I saw her face, I went into autopilot. I knew what I had to do. I pulled all the tricks I could remember from my years at uni and the short stint I did as an assistant to a commercial photographer, and turned into a woman on a mission. My normal quiet persona was pushed aside as I became brazen and threw myself into prime positions to get the best spot.
Once home, I edited until my fingers hurt. I know I'm not the best wedding photographer out there, but I was so pleased with what I had come up with, and the best part was seeing the happiness on Niccy's face when we went through them all last night. She was beyond thrilled, and in turn, eased all my fears and cemented the fact that photography was indeed my calling.
I need to start listening to others, and believing them. I need to start taking my own advice when I tell students that they have the ability to do whatever they want, and that they should have confidence in themselves.
I need to listen to myself. And, when that freight train of doubt comes flying my way, I need to deflect it on to another track, pick up my camera, and simply start shooting.