Yesterday, I was contacted by a local business to see if I wanted to set up there and do Valentine’s photos. They told me it would be a good opportunity. I didn’t answer immediately. I needed time to think about it. I, by choice, have not been a portrait photographer. I feel like my “job”, meaning it is my desire, to tell the story of things that can’t tell their own story.
A friend I had done a portrait session for, which turned out to stress me out for a week, along with other factors in my life, had recommended me. He tells everyone that I am a great portrait photographer. The easy thing about that was it was outdoors. It was in a beautiful setting. It had it’s own back drop. Here in lies my problem.
I am not set up to do indoor portrait shoots. I don’t have back drops, I don’t have the equipment, I don’t have experience in doing this.
My brain said Okay you can panic now. So, I made a list. Two in fact…..what do you need? what do you know?
I made the what do you need list first. Number one on the list BREATHE. Really??? I needed to write this down on my list??? Yes I did. I know I will do the best I can. I know that it is one of my character flaws that I let fear set in as soon as something big comes along.
I sat myself down and had a little talk with myself. This is a chance for you. This is a chance to do something different. This is a chance for you to learn something new. This is a chance you are taking. Nobody may show up, Lots of people may show up. I have no idea. It is a risk. It is a chance.
You step out on faith and let whatever happens, happen.
I did some research on how to do this (on the cheap) and proceeded add to the list. I contacted people who might have some of the things I would need to create a backdrop. Got a frame lined up. Today I will go looking for fabrics to add to that frame to make a lovely back drop. I was actually playing with red against different colors on Monday, not really knowing why at the time. It is kind of funny how I have a habit of being prepared for something before an opportunity is presented to me.
After making some more notes, I got up and got busy. I went to work rearranging and cleaning my would be studio. It is a room in my house that was my room when I was a teenager and would stay with my grandmother It is the room where I would look at my cousins old annual and pretend that a certain someone was my boyfriend (ironically, I would meet that same person decades later and they would mean more to me than they will ever know). I would always pick out the same person every time we would look through this annual. This is the room where I edit photos. I am preparing. I am mentally preparing to need to be in this space for extended periods of time.
I put my nervous energy to work for me, not against me. I got a great deal done in that room. There were things from different projects that had just been put in the room, not put away properly. There were stacks of books that needed to be placed into the book case. I am starting to have enough concentration to read for extended periods of time again. Up until this point, I could sit still long enough to read since 2011.
I intend to turn my to do list into a ta da list. I can do this. I will practice indoor portrait photography in different locations, I have already lined up my great nieces to use for practice, under different lighting conditions. Making notes as I go. I will ask those who know more about it than I do questions. I will bumble and stumble my way through this never letting them see me sweat. Traditionally, I will panic at some point, if or when I do, I will remind myself that even in that moment if I don’t believe in me, others do. This is yet another chance to learn and grow. There is something bigger ahead of me. When the big project comes and it will, I can’t panic. I will have to step up, spread my wings and fly.