Sometimes, when an opportunity arrives on my doorstep, I get swept up in excitement and leap forward to seize the moment, only to find myself totally engulfed with anxiety later.
It’s a nice balance, I think.
See, one day recently, I got a message from a friend and fan of Buried Carrots. She wanted to recommend me as a wedding photographer. I was thrilled. While I primarily take photos of food, I’ve worked very hard over the past year to start building a portfolio of portrait and event photos. A wedding would be such an incredible opportunity. I gave her my contact info and many thanks.
Then a few days later, my phone rang. I couldn’t answer it.
The bride left a message. I sat down and took several pages of notes about what I was going to say to her when I called her back. It all sounded very professional. If I was going to be her “professional” wedding photographer, I better sound like I know what I’m doing, right? Because I TOTALLY know what I’m doing, right? I neatly set out all my notes on the desk, mustered all the social skills I could muster, and called her back.
Then something funny happened. I didn’t really look at my notes. I just listened to her talk about her special day, and then I simply spoke from my heart about what the opportunity meant to me. I told her that I’m self-taught and still learning. I told her I’ve never photographed a wedding before. I told her that I would, of course, do my best, but I couldn’t really guarantee my work at this point because I’m still so new to all this.
But I also told her that I was very comfortable with natural light photography. I told her that everyone I’d worked with so far had been pleased with my work. I told her that I work hard, I’m reliable, and I’m passionate about photography.
She hired me.
We agreed on a fee that we were both comfortable with. For me, the experience will be the most valuable payoff, from the uniqueness of the shoot, to the challenges of post-processing. If I plan to shoot weddings in the future, I need to shoot a wedding. I need this photography experience as much as the bride needs a photographer.
So, yeah, balance. A little bit “jump blindly from the ledge” and a little bit “totally freak out.” It works for me.
Follow my journey from booking my first wedding gig; to freaking out about various things related to the wedding gig; to researching, planning, and preparing for the gig. Read a more detailed post and watch for subsequent posts at my other blog: Composing Kitchen.