Why I Will NEVER Be a Pro Photographer

sm4him

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...because I have the biggest "official" photo shoot of my non-career happening today and tomorrow and I am about to either throw up or just have a heart attack and be done with it. :lmao:
I am completely, unreasonably, nervous--and it's not even a wedding or any other once-in-a-lifetime, don't screw this up kind of event!

The shoot is for my employer, an ad campaign for public transit. I originally had a thread about it, here, when I was trying to decide whether I should do it or not. We did end up doing a test run; my boss was perfectly happy with it. I saw a lot of little problems, but nothing I couldn't fix before the real thing (glares, ugly background views out the bus window, wrong orientation for the photo, that kind of thing...). At any rate, after the test shoot, she definitely wanted me to do the actual shoots, and I decided to give it a go.

That seemed like a better idea when it was still a month away. Now it's happening TODAY and I'm just a crazy bundle of nerves! I've tested and retested; I've picked two spots for the bus to park for the shoots; I've looked at ideas, I've reviewed the test photos over and over for how to improve--I've done everything I could to prepare and on one level, I know I don't generally give myself much credit for doing decent work, but I also know I *can* do this, certainly as well as just about anyone else that WE would have hired.

I plan to use my D7000 primarily, but will have the D5100 as a backup if needed. I've got a 50mm f/1.8 lens, a 17-55 f/2.8 that we ended up renting, and if necessary, could also use my Tokina 100mm f/2.8 or the 70-300 lens, but I don't expect to need either of those. The 50mm worked pretty well for most of the test photos.
I've got two flashes available, but only plan to use one, diffused. I've also got a reflector if I need it, and an assistant lined up to help hold things (although I have a stand for the flash), and to help with posing, making sure people are smiling or looking happy, collars aren't messed up, etc.

This afternoon will almost be like another test run, as we only have two people to do. Tomorrow, I'll have a family of 4 in one shoot, and seven different individuals in the second time frame. Each person will have their own individual featured shoot, with the others serving as "background passengers."

Have I forgotten anything?? Oh yeah, just one thing...WHY did I agree to do this?!?!?!

Okay, taking DEEEEP breaths now...it's going to be JUST FINE...

Seriously, I can't IMAGINE what a basketcase I'd be if I ever lost my mind and agreed to do a wedding!!

That's it...I just wanted to vent and try to de-stress a bit. :D You can give advice if you want, or just derail the thread with funny, useless crap that keeps me distracted from thinking too much about it. :lmao:
 

ShooterJ

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Really.. what's the worst that could happen? It's only your boss... who has some control over your employment... which might be swayed by his like or dislike of you...

Or her ... oooooo... if it's a "she" then mood swings could play into that too...

Well... anyway, I'm sure you won't do anything that would get you fired and forever ruin you as a photographer..

*pat on the back for encouragement*
 

Big Mike

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This just means that you care about the results....and that's a good thing. You'll do fine. :D
 

ShooterJ

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Damnit... everyone is gonna be nice and make me feel bad now ... ok, ok...

What he said ^^^

:lmao:
 

jamesbjenkins

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The morning of every wedding I've ever shot, there's a point where I get really anxious about the gravity of my responsibility, how this couple will be looking at these pictures for the rest of their life together, that the work I do that day will be my legacy, my calling card in these people's lives long after I've personally left their lives.

I let that feeling simmer for a moment or two, then I eat it and use it for motivation to kill it that day.

The thought of my work hanging on someone's wall in their home reminding them each time they see it of one of the (hopefully) happiest days of their life is pretty incredible. It's one of the biggest reasons I put up with all the crap that goes with being a wedding photog.

Lots of my photog friends locally say they'd never shoot weddings regularly because it stresses them out. I'm the exact opposite. Shooting a wedding is pure adrenaline. If you miss a shot, IT'S GONE FOREVER. NO REDOS. :lol:

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
 
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sm4him

sm4him

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Really.. what's the worst that could happen? It's only your boss... who has some control over your employment... which might be swayed by his like or dislike of you...

Or her ... oooooo... if it's a "she" then mood swings could play into that too...

Well... anyway, I'm sure you won't do anything that would get you fired and forever ruin you as a photographer..

*pat on the back for encouragement*


Oh good, thanks. I feel MUCH better now. :lmao:
Fortunately, I'm really not worried about that. I've been here long enough to know what will happen if I screw this up. The worst that's going to happen is we both end up saying "well, THAT was a bad plan" and hiring a real photographer to start over. And if it ruins me forever as a photographer...well, not much of a loss there. :lol:
 

ShooterJ

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LOL.. I was just being me. In all seriousness, I agree with the above. If you care enough to consider these things you'll do fine.
 
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sm4him

sm4him

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Thank you all for your comments! Your perspective and encouragement really help!

And a special thanks for Shooter whose refreshing honesty at least made me laugh out loud. Hey, what's the worst that could happen? They fire me? There's plenty more jobs where THIS came from...
...oh wait. No there's not. CRAP. :lmao:

The morning of every wedding I've ever shot, there's a point where I get really anxious about the gravity of my responsibility, how this couple will be looking at these pictures for the rest of their life together, that the work I do that day will be my legacy, my calling card in these people's lives long after I've personally left their lives.

I let that feeling simmer for a moment or two, then I eat it and use it for motivation to kill it that day.

The thought of my work hanging on someone's wall in their home reminding them each time they see it of one of the (hopefully) happiest days of their life is pretty incredible. It's one of the biggest reasons I put up with all the crap that goes with being a wedding photog.

Lots of my photog friends locally say they'd never shoot weddings regularly because it stresses them out. I'm the exact opposite. Shooting a wedding is pure adrenaline. If you miss a shot, IT'S GONE FOREVER. NO REDOS. :lol:

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Great perspective! I seem to be stuck in the anxious moment instead of the "use it for motivation" mode... :D

I would be FAR more worried if I didn't do this exact same thing before every speaking engagement I have. I lead a women's ministry and do speaking engagements for other area women's ministries and retreats. About 24 hours before the event, I always start thinking the whole thing is a really bad idea and that I'm a terrible speaker and I should just cancel...there is almost always food before these events, and I can never eat anything. Then I start, and the minute I get started, all the nerves and anxiety disappear completely. I'm hoping that how this goes too!
 

ShooterJ

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Happy to help ... :thumbup: :lmao:
 

vintagesnaps

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My best friend just did a presentation at a club she's in, had to pack and unpack a ton of stuff and was a nervous wreck etc. etd. and it all went fine. And she got some nice pictures of it too!

I've done presentations (work related) and beforehand is the worst, once you get going you'll be fine. I think people are pretty understanding if all is not perfection, if you hit a glitch just adjust and continue on and it'll be fine.

When I was first taking pictures for a local team and got out on the ice for the first time to photograph a pregame puck drop with a celebrity what was the worst that could have happened?? I could have slipped on the ice and landed on my butt in front of thousands of people, that's all! LOL but nothing imagined actually happened and I got my photos and had a blast!

Just remind yourself to breathe...
 

runnah

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It's just like making love for the first time. You're all nervous and it will go way too fast and probably be disappointing to both parties. But as time goes on you'll get better and learn what makes you and your partner happy. Eventually you will get to the point where you can knockout a session in no time at all and leave both parties very satisfied.

Of course things will become boring and you'll need to bring in extra equipment and more drama to feel the same excitement you did at first. Heck you might even bring in a second shooter or perhaps just doing sessions in public or with groups. But it won't work and eventually you start looking at other art forms, maybe dabble with painting or throw a pot here and there.
 

DarkShadow

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Just pretend you shooting Osprey with out wings or talons.
 

KenC

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I'd be right there with you if I were involved in something similar. That's probably why I rarely volunteer to do any kind of special project, especially in photography. By now I'm sure you're in the middle of it, doing fine and not even aware of being nervous.
 

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