It’s 2 am and rather than watching the 3rd re-run of Nancy Grace, i guess I’m feeling especially thoughtful tonight. It doesn’t happen often so I have to grab it when it does, you know? As the year hurls towards the finish line, I’m attempting to give a little thought to accomplishments and personal achievements from the past 12 months. Self-analyzation is always rather difficult for me, as i tend to feel like a jack-ass making personal lists in such a manner. Still there are a few things I felt like sharing with the free-world, so here goes:
a camera has changed my life
Really hard to believe but true. When the Nikon D3 arrived in February I was apprehensive that it could possibly do what they claimed. Skeptical i removed it from it’s little foam coffin not realizing how it would completely altar, how I shot, what I bring and do not bring now to jobs – and most importantly-
WHAT it allows me to capture. You say “If you didn’t suck so badly in the first place, how could a camera help you out, buddy?” Well, maybe so. But if I sucked then, I suck less now thanks to the D3. But seriously, it has allowed me to loosen up in ways I have been trying desperately to achieve for the last several years with limited success. It’s like they read my mind and made a spankin’ new $5000 toy just for me.
I simply don’t care as much
Allow me to qualify that statement—Maybe it’s the aging process and the perspective that comes with it?
Maybe it’s the medication.
I used to worry about everything anyone ever said to me and keep it on a huge helish Christmas-list somewhere in the back of my head. That goes for both personal and work/photo related things. Particularly when it comes to shooting, I would always mentally run down that list and think, “Ohhh – you know, I did that once and so-and-so didn’t like it, so i’d better play it safe.” Or, “I shot a photo on an angle and that brides mom complained about it 6 years ago, i’d better frame it more level.” etc etc. You name it. I guess I didn’t realize how much I was doing it until i stopped doing it! No matter what you do, someone, somewhere is going to have a problem with it, so why let it bother you. I can tell you that it has freed me tremendously photographically, and I believe that clients appreciate it since I’m clear with what i want to do, they know what they are getting, we cut through the crap and everyones happy. By also showing only work that i want to shoot (rather than what i THINK people will expect to see) potential clients get a much clearer picture of who I am and what i do – which only serves them better in the end, and leaves me less stressed out.
work with what you’ve got instead of what you want
I used to get completely nuts when I was heading to a wedding where the weather was bad. This hit me on one occasion this year in particular, during a tented wedding in a hurricane of all things. I knew it was coming, THEY knew it was coming, and rather than drive there with a knot in my belly, I thought-”OK, we have poopy weather today–what can we do to make it cool?” Long short short we ended up running into a barn to get out of the torrential downpour that suddenly hit us, and really got some fun stuff. As we left I said to the couple ( and you know who you are if you’re reading this!), “You know, had it not been for this weather, we would have never gone into this barn and got this amazing stuff.” So instead of stressing about how ‘great’ it could have been if it were sunny, I instead was grateful for what we ended up with. The challenge made it far more interesting than what a ‘normal’ day would have handed us.
keep your sense of humor up and running
I was at an event this year where from the moment I arrived i knew it was going to just be a big mess. A disaster on a ritz cracker, presented on a silver platter. This had more to do with the attitude of the crowd than any other specific – just like a train wreck— waiting to run over a school bus full of special-needs kids, and then back up to finish the job. A mess.
I thought to me-self right off the bat, ” I clearly see where this is headed and I can get all grumpy about it OR treat is as a sociological investigation and observe this bunch, do my job and take it for what it is.” Which is what i did. Was it a million laffs in the end?—not really. But it yielded some great stories to tell and was much easier to get through with that attitude. Again, an approach a few years ago i would not have taken so readily.
So it was funny in a ‘I cant believe this.’ sort of way, rather than ha-ha funny.
Kind of pathetic funny….sad funny. Still better than being all negative about it! And that got me thought the night!
so I hope this blabbering gibberish inspires somebody to stand up straight, grab a camera, go out and kick some 2009 rump!