There is something terrifying about putting something you create out there for people to judge, as any artist or creative can probably understand. It is especially terrifying when you are brand new and you know that you want to be amazing, but you just have a lot to learn to get there. You have to accept that you're just going to suck for a while, but if you keep going, keep studying, keep practicing, and are open to constructive criticism, you will get better.
I had always loved photography. I was saving and buying nice cameras since I was in high school and was always taking "photo adventures" to learn and play with them, but spent most of my attention on sports, fitness, and school. When I graduated college, I splurged and bought myself a full frame digital camera as a gift to myself for finally completing my degree. (Or any degree really... if you have any idea how many times I changed my major or switched schools you'll get it haha!)
I did what a lot of people do when they buy a new camera- I played for a while and was happy-ish with what I took, but found myself playing less and less. Then, the next year I had my son. Suddenly I had this perfect little creature that I wanted to photograph every little detail of and every little thing I might one day forget. In order to do this well in any lighting situation, first thing I did was that I ditched the kit lens and bought my first Nifty Fifty. It was a game changer! I was again, happy-ish, but not satisfied. I decided to learn to shoot in manual so that I could control the camera, instead of it controlling me. I started off in aperature priority so I could take advantage of that f1.8 aperature and get that creamy background. I thought that was EVERYTHING haha!
Around that time, I was also starting to get back into YouTube, so I started searching out any content I could find on shooting and learning photography. I read my camera's manual and practiced with whatever I was reading at the time until I understood it. I learned what every button did. Then, I finally started playing around with it in Manual mode where I had to control and understand ISO, aperature, and shutter speed and how they play together, what to change based on the situation, etc. I also started shooting in RAW and playing with Lightroom.
The next scary thing I did was reach out to a local photographer who is AMAZING . She had posted looking for a second shooter and I think my actual message was something to the effect of, "I dont care, I will be your bitch, I will carry your stuff- just let me be there." She saw the potential in my noob photos and let me join her as a second shooter in several weddings that summer and I learned SOOOOOO much. Her input and constructive criticism really changed my life for the better and I will never stop being grateful.
By this time people started asking me to take their photos. It was terrifying. Serious serious anxiety. I still had so much to learn. Each session, looking at the photos, I would see everything I did wrong and everything I could have done differently. (who am I kidding, I still do that) BUT the benefit to that is I could go from there and take those insights to the next session and build and grow. As long as I could spot what I wanted to be different, I could learn and make those changes.
It has been a few years now and I still see that I still have a lot to learn and that while a lot of growth has been made, but there is always more that can take place. For your viewing pleasure, I've added some of my first images, middle, and recent of my son. Enjoy ;)
This was when Soren was 11 days old. Were outside on my front lawn. (why?) I didn't even know newborn photography was a thing. Looking back, of course I love these because this is my little boy, but I also wish I would have hired a professional to come to my home so not only would I have better quality photos, but so my family and myself could be in some of those photos. No matter how "not ready for photos" I felt, 4 years later I wish I had photos of us from this time in our lives.
This is Soren's first birthday. I hadn't learned that much yet, but I sure loved that I finally got that bokeh!
I love this one because it just shows his personality so much, but looking at it critically- I missed focus and shot too wide open. Little kids run around and move a lot. I should have had my camera set up to allow him some wiggle room.
and most recently:
Goodness he's such a handsome little dude!