Why, you might wonder, would bravery be needed to wield a camera? Why would I need courage to do something I do all the time?
Because the photos weren't for me.
About a month ago, a friend casually mentioned that she'd like me to take some family photos for her. I think I said something along the lines of, "Thanks. You're so nice. Maybe. But I don't really know what I'm doing." Then, although I continued to think about it, I dismissed her proposal as "just being nice."
If I don't try, I can't fail.
I'm trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm wondering if it might be photographer. (Did you see that? Another brave moment right before your eyes.) Before you shoot me down, I realize that pretty good photos of my own kids are not justification for someone else to pay me. And I know that I don't know that much yet, but I'm taking classes and reading books and following photography websites trying to learn. And I know that I wouldn't support my family doing it, but luckily I don't need to do that. After a lot of education, a lot of late work nights, and a lot of time off to be a mom, I finally have a passion.
My passion for photography might just be a hobby. But it might not. In a moment of courage, I emailed my friend and offered to take her family portraits. To my surprise, she said "yes." So I did.
She liked them. In my lacking-self-confidence way, I told myself that she wouldn't tell me they stunk, so who knew what she really thought. Then she said she might use some on her Christmas card and I began to think that maybe she actually liked them. Imagine.
I shot some standard posed family portraits, but my favorites are the candids. Capturing moments between parents and their children is a special kind of fun. While I took some "pretty" photos, my favorite might be one I first considered an outtake: big brother over-loving his baby sister. It's not one that their mom will want to frame and hang above the mantel, but it made her laugh. I'm pretty sure it was a funny-because-it's-true sort of laugh, and that's what I aim to capture--the truth, even when funny.
Thanks, friends, for taking a chance on me. I had a ball.