I was recently invited to a local camera club to judge their monthly photo competition, give feedback on the submitted images and tell the members a little about my own journey into photography.
I'll admit that, whilst feeling incredibly honoured to have been asked, I was more than a little nervous at the thought of sitting in front of a group of strangers and giving feedback on their images.
You see, my mind tends to go blank when I'm under pressure, which is why after almost seven years of shooting professionally I still take the time to write out a shot list before each and every job!
What if my mind went blank during my talk? What if someone asked me something and I couldn't think of the answer?
In addition, I don't particularly enjoy critiquing other people's work. You see the photographs we take (especially those we are proud enough of to submit for competition) are important to us. They are our creations, we have pride in them and it does hurt to hear someone's view that your creation might fall short in certain areas. I don't like upsetting people but I hate to admit, there are some people in the photography world who do seem to enjoy doing just that - gleefully shooting down the work of an amateur or new photographer and slamming into their images without giving any constructive advice at all. I hate that, so unnecessary and unhelpful.
Anyway I digress. The members of the photography group had been given a fairly difficult subject for their competition - 'Emotions' and I was very interested to see their interpretations.
As soon as I started looking through the images my fears melted away. I made notes on technical things such as composition, clarity and story telling and considered how each image made me feel, what emotions they were portraying.
On the night of the meeting itself I was greeted by a lovely bunch of people and given a cup of tea (which I accepted with shaking hands) while the members of the group arrived and the projector and screen were set up. There were quite a few people there and quite a number of images to go through, but once I had been introduced and started talking about my favourite subject, my nerves disappeared. As I went though each image I realised that I need not have worried at all - it was clear that each and every person in that room shared my love of photography and were keen to listen to the advice I had to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed myself as we discussed the wonderful images the group had taken and I awarded my first, second and third places.
So - I thought I'd share that little first for me! I still giggle inside when I'm introduced to people as a 'Professional Photographer' - it just doesn't seem right - how can it be a proper job when you enjoy it that much? The reason for the title of this blog post? My beautiful eldest daughter told me that I should do something every day that frightens me a little bit. Not quite doing one a day yet - but this is one I'm so glad I did!
Thanks for reading!