hold it lightly
One of the greatest gifts I've been given, and trust me, there've been a lot, since I've started shooting film is an amazing and supportive group of men and women to share my trials and my triumphs. These are the people I turn to with my innumerable questions and my trepidatious heart. When I have a tiny victory, I share it with them first. A more giving and generous group is hard to find, I think. And they welcomed prickly me in without hesitation. Imagine that!
At the beginning of the year, I was asked by one woman in this group to going a project she'd founded called One Kid, One Roll, Once a Month. She's shooting her kids (wink) on film to measure both her growth and theirs. Talk about trepidatious! Would Cal be willing to do it with me? He doesn't always love for me to take his picture, you know. And that doesn't even begin to touch on adding my pictures to a list of immense talent out there. I'm just a rookie here, remember?
But we did it. Cal was willing (sort of) and I was brave (sort of), and here we are. Every roll of film is a test for me. I have yet to step truly confidently into that space where my hands hold the camera and my eyes trust the light.
I've talked before about how one of my biggest lessons in all of this is that everything right now is batting practice, but the other is to hold it lightly. Release expectation, put more faith in the process than the end product and know that good will come out of that.
Am I thrilled with these photos? Not necessarily. They didn't match my vision and they won't be nearly as good as many in the circle along with me. But did I learn a lot in the taking of them? Oh my, yes. And despite the exposure issues and the focus issues (damn these aging eyes!), did they capture my boy as he is, right now in this moment in time? Yes, and yes again. In that regard, they're perfect to me.
My first photography teacher and dear friend had such great advice; I try to follow it whenever I can. She said wait before you look at your images. This is tricky with digital. Easier with film. The wait is built in. But when you wait, you can separate your vision for the image from the image itself. You can hold it more lightly. Just like with batting practice, when I forget this lesson, things run afoul, and I get more prickly than normal. So hold it lightly. I'm sticking to that.
And I'll be back next month. I can't wait to see how much we both grow.
But wait! There's more! And so much gorgeousness in this blog circle. Please check out my friend Massachusetts Family Photographer Léa Jones, whose photos are next in the circle. She's always been a great inspiration to me, and she'll put my photos to shame in just the best possible way. :)