Since May last year when I got my 1st SLR digital camera I have been on a very steep learning curve. At times it has felt so steep that I have wanted to just give up on it all. For many years I just used my Dad’s old Pentax spotomatic and much to my surprise I discovered I could take photos. Because I wanted to have an automatic focus camera I asked my husband for a newer camera and thought that I would go digital. After some limited knowledge research I purchased a Pentax K20D. Was it the right choice of camera, who knows it was the one that I could afford. I have been happy with it and I am not sure that my happiness would have been any less if I had bought an equivalent enthusiast level Canon or Nikon. Although a large proportion of photographers in Australia’s photography world would tell me otherwise. At first I was just using my camera to take photos of my children and any paintings that I do, and then later a few babyshoots for family and friends.
At the beginning of this year I went to a friend of mines birthday party, while I was there I got talking to one of her friends who was recently engaged. Much to my surprised she asked me to take photos of her wedding. I explained that I was in no way a professional. She said that she understood, she just liked my style. I didn’t say yes straight away, but after a long consideration I said yes. Oh how I have regretted that decision night after night. I have lost so much sleep since then trying to fast pace my learning. At the time I had 6 months to learn as much as I could. I now have 3 months til the wedding. Stress levels are increasing. I have gone around begging people to do photoshoots for them. So far I have done two (plus many on my kids). I make sure that I put myself in difficult lighting situations etc. The whole idea is to get practice and put myself in situations where I would be forced to learn, and make mistakes and it would be ok. I can tell you the more I do the more I realise I have so much more to learn. A wedding encompases so many different unpredicable situations eg. Lighting, people, weather, fast pace etc. It is not like your little 2-3 hour baby photoshoot where your lighting is a bit more predicable (ok the baby isn’t). But once you set up for the shoot you pretty much don’t move from your post. Its a lot slower paced then a wedding for one. I think the biggest thing I need to achieve is to be able to use my camera without thinking too much about the basics. Just like driving a car where when you learn the basics you are able to relax a bit more and concentrate on traffic, people, directions, kids in the car, or just enjoy the music. This is where I need to get to.
My first photoshoot I was fairly happy with, could see that I had a lot of room to improve but I was happy with my progress.
The second photo shoot was the engaged couple. I am not sure if it was because they were the ones who had asked me to take photos of their wedding or not, but it didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I was so disappointed with the photos that I nearly asked them if I could do the shoot again. But I didn’t, I had enough photos from that shoot that they hopefully will be ok with.
I now have another 3 lined up (although the dates aren’t as yet set). Hopefully I will be able to practice what I have since researched on line and in books. Funny I read other peoples blogs and try to best understand them, but it is not until I attempt to do what they are saying and make mistakes do I fully understand what they are saying when I read their post again. Self-learning is a long process.