“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
Following my last blog post I've been taking some time out to focus on myself, my work, and most importantly my artistry (fancy) before I start blogging again with a mission and putting more of myself out there! As a photographer a really important part of your personal growth can be attending workshops, you get to meet other creative people, gain new perspectives, learn A LOT and become totally invigorated and re-inspired. I spent the start of this week with the lovely Joanna Brown in her cottage full of other wonderful and talented photographers, learning how to be brave, to immerse ourselves in our art, to remember to play, get excited, take our time and be true to our own style and gut instincts.... That's what I took away from it anyway! We spent the morning listening, learning, chatting and encouraging, it was lovely to chat with and look at work from other photographers, some at a similar point in their businesses, and be inspired by the many different qualities they all brought to the table, literally!
As well at learning valuable practical lessons like taking the time to really evaluate the space you're about to shoot in and feel what's best for your camera settings, I really left feeling bolder and braver, and that's what I knew deep down I needed to take from this experience.
In the afternoon Jo brought in a beautiful couple to shoot while we observed, talking us through her process and then really encouraging us to shoot them the way we wanted too and the way we felt was right and it was for me, albeit a short one, a very interesting and insightful experience. To photograph a couple without that weight of the gremlin that so often lurks whispering "...they've paid me a lot to do this, what are their expectations? I want to do it like this but will they like it? What if this isn't the style they think they want? Best take the safe route..." really felt so freeing, to just shoot exactly how I wanted to, no pressures, no expectations, then be able to evaluate that work afterwards and ask myself why I did what I did was fascinating and a real game changer. I took away from it many things I won't bore you with! But I remembered I do this because I just love it, I think it's safe to say I'm a lurker, I love to photograph from the shadows which is something I've deep down always known as they're always my favourite shots of any collection, yet I only let it leak into my business work on occasion, something I'm definitely going to slowly start to remedy.
It's super hard to put your fears and feelings out there, previously the idea of peers and clients reading how I really feel?! The horror! Yet it's something I've slowly learned to do better this year and it's really elevated my work and my insides in a way I never thought it could. I've found it all too easy to lose sight of why I started doing this for an actual business at times, which I know now more than ever is a common feeling amongst photographers especially those under the wedding umbrella, but there's no reason for us to feel like that! At whatever stage, we all started for the same reason, because something in our hearts and in our gut told us this is where we need to be, this is where we belong. I know it's where I belong, stopping snippets of time is what I am meant to do, I know that, my heart and my body knows that, I've just been waiting for my brain and my courage to catch up. I'm not 100% there, but I'm more ready than ever to step right in. Guts first... (nice.)