I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while. I keep talking about it and deciding that of course I should do it. Why not? Well, what if I’m not good at it? Or good enough? Maybe practice doesn’t make perfect.
Do you ever have these conversations with yourself and end up talking yourself out of trying something new because you’re afraid you won’t live up to some impossibly high standard?
Two years ago I had to talk myself into applying for my current 8-to-5, pay-the-bills, full-time job. I already had a perfectly good job, in the same company actually. But I saw an opportunity to do something I’d wanted to do for years, and I was afraid to go for it. I told myself that maybe I only thought I knew something about web design and marketing. I was ready to disregard the fact that I did graduate with a degree in marketing, and that I had been working on the company’s website in a lesser capacity for years. It took a ridiculous amount of courage for me to go for it and pitch myself for the position. What was I so afraid of? What was my problem?
Lack of confidence? You got it.
So now the dilemma is this: I’ve been taking pictures of parks and rec sports teams for years now. About once a year, sometimes more, a parent will ask me if I take family portraits and would I take theirs. I’ve always said no. I’ve been asked if I do weddings – the answer has been no.
And then I’ll ask myself why. Am I afraid I don’t know how? Maybe. Is it that I don’t have the right equipment? Not really. Am I afraid people won’t like the pictures? Probably.
So here I am again asking myself the same questions. I’m trying to talk myself into changing the answers. I’m trying to tell myself that all I need is practice. All I need are models willing to pose and sit and stand and go where I tell them to and smile when I tell them to smile. Practice makes perfect, right?
So here’s my resolution for February 4, 2013: I’m going to start studying and practicing. I’m going to negotiate a deal with my teenage son to get him to pose for me. I’m going to ask friends and family for their time and patience. I’m going to drive them and myself crazy in the process, but hopefully I will improve with each session.
I may still not be ready to do a wedding, but maybe it’s time to venture out into some portrait photography that doesn’t include a soccer ball, football, baseball bat, or basketball.