Since launching my freelance business "officially" my biggest fear is doing shoots for the first time. Since expanding my work from only filmmaking to photography as well I have been plagued by anxiety about whether or not I can be successful as both. What is scary is that the only way to know for sure if you can do something is to do it. That is why, for a long time, I only did travel photography and shoots with friends. It was easy because I didn't need anyone to be in the pictures or the people featured were friends and could just tell me I sucked. I didn't have the risk of ruining strangers photos. But I had to grow up. This meant getting real, live human beings to put their trust in me to capture an important time in their life which may only happen once. This is a lot of pressure and makes it scary for a newcomer to take the plunge. But this past weekend, after much research, practice, and location scouting, I did my first shoot with actual clients!
Minus a Florida rainstorm (or two) the shoot went extremely well I think. I was, for the most part, happy with the results and the clients loved them, what else can you ask for? Now I can't say I was bubbling with confidence the entire shoot and a lot of my ideas were inspired by my photography education and not totally my personal creative genius at work. But, I did it. And that is all you can do. You cannot improve by sitting on the computer researching how you can improve at something (though I try). You have to do it. You have to endure the anxiety. You have to be awkward and self conscious and afraid to fail. It's the only way to really, truly improve at something.
I am thankful for my awesome clients for taking a chance with me and going along for the ride. I will be better in the future because of this experience and am happy that my "first time" was a good time. I cannot wait to look back at this shoot one day and think about how inexperienced I was and how much cooler I am in that future moment. But I hope that I do not completely cringe when I stumble upon this. I hope that the shoot remains positive in my mind for years to come and that it shows where I've been but also the direction I'm heading. To the journey ahead.