“You, again.” Sometimes this is how I feel about my camera. I never knew I wanted to be a photographer. Sometimes I still find myself in these moments where I think Is this your work? You did this? Lately these moments are happening more and more. I’ve decided it’s harder to tell the story of your growth as a photographer or artist, than say of yourself as a human. Sure I could tell you stories of photoshoots I felt less than great about, ones that my colleagues would tell me were not my best. I could also tell you about photoshoots I LOVED at the time and now I know I wasn’t even close to capturing them the way I wished I could have.
I’d have moments where I’d be so excited as I’d finish editing a session, then I hop on Pinterest and my heart would fall. There were these stunning photographs! And they were so much better than what I was doing! Even photographers who I follow on Facebook, every single one of the photos they post are magic and flawless. That’s all I ever wanted for myself, but for so long I was just sure I wasn’t one of those photographers.
That’s the thing about my relationship with my camera and with photography. I’ve tried giving it up a bunch of times! When I started working at Starbucks after college, I put my little canon rebel away and thought “I don’t need to take headshots on the side anymore. I’ve gotta focus on my real work.” Then something would happen that would cause me to pick it up again. I don’t even know how but I ended up working at a photography studio, not even wanting to photograph! I just wanted to do office work. Until I was asked about taking photos, and I had to. I think it’s because it was taking photos of people, and I just love getting up close and capturing someone. As I became a true professional photographer, I didn’t feel like it on the inside. I can hardly even describe what made me decide to open a photography business because I swear, the only way I can describe it is, it’s just like fate. It’s just something that HAPPENS, over and over, even when I try to push it away. Photography is like ‘my one’, the one I can’t get rid of even if I get scared, or think I’m not good enough; it’s always there putting a camera back in my hands and someone there on the other side of the camera whispering TRY AGAIN.
Now I’m into my 2nd year in business, and I’ve figured out a lot of things. I’ve figured out what works in my schedule, who fits into my client base, and what kind of photos are inspiring me. I think something must have happened as I eclipsed into 2016 because as I started editing these sessions I was kind of like, “Whoa…. I REALLY love these. I took this? I LOVE this!” Now art is subjective, and I’m trying to have an ego trip here. What I’m saying is, somehow I crossed this bridge into being the kind of photographer that I’ve always wanted to be. I can capture moments exactly like I always wished I could, and the best part is, I didn’t take a class and learn how to be someone else. I didn’t pay a ton of money to buy a set of filters that can manipulate my photos to look the way they do. It’s just me! It’s A LOT my amazing clients who are such heart felt, warm, easy-going, lovable people. And it’s also, trust and time.
It takes a lot of failed photographs to start getting the ones you want. It’s taken 4 years of feeling like I was missing the mark somehow to start to feel like jumping up and down with these photos in my hand saying “Look how awesome this moment was! It felt JUST like this!” For me, that’s the mark of a photo I love. It’s authentic, it radiates a quality, it’s creative and truthful both in it’s color and composition. Now for my whole experience being a photographer, I knew this ability was inside of me. I’d have these glimpses at it. I have a whole set of film photos from my very first 5 or 6 sessions, that are full of a few brilliant moments where I was doing just what I’m talking about now. The difference is, now I’m not doing it just out of instinct or getting them out of luck. I’m capturing something in this hybrid Felicia talent that’s partial instinct and feeling, and partially technical skill that’s been earning from taking probably 300,000 photographs (…. probably more if I really think about it but that just already sounds crazy….).
If any of this is painting any kind of picture for you, let me just be clear about something, when you love something it takes hard work. When you love something it takes a TON of failing. Failing that might not even be obvious ‘you’re not cut out for this’ kind of stuff, but more like You’ve got some developing to do. Don’t be scared of being your own work in progress. Don’t be scared of feeling like something is missing, maybe it’s not missing from you, maybe parts of you are not open to it YET.
So, as a celebration of this little breakthrough in my work, I am so excited to share some amazing photos from a few recent engagement sessions that I’ve done. They’re all three very different from one another, but they all have a TON of love inside of them, a lot of fun and laughter, and they are all photos I’m very proud to have been the creator of. (Well me and them, what amazing people and amazing relationships they have!).