Category Archives: kids

   Last year I bought this fabulous new camera

Last year I bought this fabulous new camera. A Nikon 5100. I love this camera. It takes fabulous photos. For the last 27 years I have been a portrait photographer, albeit, at a national portrait studio, for the majority of that time. The rest of the time, I was a stay at home mom, constantly following my kids around taking photos of them with this fantastic film camera that my mother in law gave me,  practicing the skills I had learned. Of course the camera and the studio was already set up for me so I never really got to learn the technicalities of the art.

So last year, I bought this fabulous new camera. I got the expensive one. I bought the one with all the bells and whistles. I have no clue how to use this damn thing. I get very frustrated. There are so many settings that I get overwhelmed. But I have a good eye. I like to photograph things. I see things that please my eye. I like to play with light and shadow. Just because I don’t know how to do the technical stuff with the camera, does that mean I am not a photographer? Just because I didn’t go to school and get my degree, does that mean I am not a photographer? Just because I have no clue how to use Photoshop, does that mean I am not a photographer? I don’t know to be honest with you.

I bought it because, I had folks asking me to photograph their kids, their grandkids, their families, their pets. So… I put the camera on my credit card thinking that I would start photographing all of these clients and my dream of being a portrait photographer in my own right, without the benefit of a studio would come to light. I hated the stupid rules that these businesses put on us. Now, most of them were for the companies good, which is fine. But a lot of them were stupid. They didn’t make any sense and I dreamed for years of doing my own thing. I KNEW how to run that studio. I didn’t need anyone looking over my shoulder.

After I bought the camera, I started networking. I started advertising, trying to build up a clientèle. I have the skills. I have ideas. I know how to photograph kids, and make them look fantastic. I know how to photograph a family and make them look fantastic. I can put a family group together in a shot and make sure everyone looks good. I LOVE to play with light and shadow.  I have been doing this for YEARS. But as soon as I bought this camera, nobody wants me to photograph their kids, or their family, or their pets. What the heck??? They’ll say things like…”Oh…you’re starting photography?”.  I guess it’s the mentality of a “mom with a camera”.

I was always the one they called to straighten a studio up if an employee was not doing their job. I was the one they called when a customer was unhappy. I was the one folks would wait for to photograph their kids because they loved me, bypassing the other photographer who was doing nothing.

Now? I have only photographed two kids since then. So here’s the deal…I start getting some clients in the next month or I am selling this camera. I have to pay off this credit card. I am determined to learn how to use this camera properly. I am determined to learn how to use photoshop. So there it is.

I once heard in a movie, Sister Act 2, Whoopi Goldberg told the young lady who wanted to be a singer, but was having doubts…”If you wake up in the morning thinking about singing, spend your day thinking about singing and go to sleep thinking about singing, then you’re a singer.” Well I wake up in the morning thinking about photography. I walk around thinking about photography. I look at things, people and places, wanting to photograph them. All. The. Time.

I think that this makes me a photographer. So what is in my life, that is blocking me from my dream? Whatever it is it needs to get the hell out of my way. I have a dream and I am bound and determined to follow through. Now… Who wants me to photograph their kids?

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