The First Time

In Digital, Portraiture, Still Life

The past few months have been months of boldness for me as I stepped out of my photographic comfort zone on more than one occasion. Typically, I like to think and rethink and overthink before I move on a decision. While careful consideration has its place, I sometimes take that to the extreme.  I get scared, you know? Scared to fail. But over the last few months I took some pretty big steps. I’ll share two of those steps with you.

In casual conversation with a friend, I blurted out that I thought I could help her with a photo shoot of her family. I just said it. Just like that. And you know what? She took me up on that offer.



Around the same time, I was talking with a mom at the ballet studio where my daughter takes classes; we were talking about her baking business. And I blurted out (again) that I thought I could help her with a photo shoot, maybe make some images for product sheets or for her website. Just like that, I said it. And you know what? She took me up on that offer.



I am not a family photographer. I am not a product or food photographer. Some of our ViewFinders contributors do this kind of work; many of you in the ViewFinders community do this kind of work too. But not me. Not really, not specifically.  But I’m curious about the work, and have been for quite a while. I want to learn as much as I can. And so I tried.

And you know what? A little awesome. The sessions were simultaneously nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I was really (really) nervous but was also conscious of a little swagger in my step as I moved with camera in hand. It was scary, but it felt good.  I made mistakes and enjoyed successes. And, while I thought I had a pretty good idea of what each type of shoot entailed, I really had no idea. How could I? I’d never done it!

These first shoots were scary. When someone puts their faith and trust in you and expects a product in the end…yikes. But there must always be a first, yes?  And so I had my first family session. And I had my first product session. And I have no idea if there will be more. But I tried. I gave it my best shot (pun intended). I stepped outside my comfort zone – camera in hand – and I did my thing. And my first time (on each occasion) was a little awesome.



Have you stepped outside your comfort zone lately?  Have you tried a new technique or a new style?
We’d love to hear about it.  Share in the comments below and/or use the hashtag #viewfindersio


P.S. My hat is off to those of you who do this work. Seriously. You make it look easy…and it is not easy!


    • your encouragement (both before and after the shoot) is so appreciated, Angie!! xo
      I guess the nerves help to keep us on our toes, help us to keep caring…

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