I Had Trouble Hearing That Part Over the Roaring in My Ears

So I get a Facebook message from Kevin yesterday saying, “My baby will be dedicated at church tomorrow.  Will you take pictures for me?”

Ack!  Stand up at the front of the church with everyone gawking at me??  Are you kidding??

Ok.  Let me back up a little bit.  About 10 years ago, my friend Pam and I were talking, and somewhere in the conversation I said, “Well, you know I’m pretty shy.”  And she burst out laughing because she thought I was making a joke.  “You?  You?!  Shy?!  Hahahahahaha!”  I just looked at her.  “What’s so funny?  I am shy.”  She doubled over and tears came to her eyes.  She’s convinced to this day that I was making a joke.

It was during that conversation with Pam that I realized I am not shy.

But I used to be.  I was painfully shy in my teens and twenties. I was voted Most Shy in school one year.  I’m positive that I sat in classes for years with kids who never once heard the sound of my voice.  I was one hair away from anxiety attacks whenever Darling Husband made me go to work Christmas parties and picnics.  On our trip to Pittsburg to meet his family, I begged Darling Husband to take us home 4 days early, because I was just so stinkin’ scared at having to talk to all those people.  (He made me stay.)

The good news is that somewhere along the line it just *poof* went away.  And now I’m ridiculously over-confident and spend most of my energy on having to rein myself in.  But every now and then, I’ll be put in a situation where I’m waaaaay out of my comfort zone, and the shyness tries to ooze back in.

With that said, let’s start over:

So I get a Facebook message from Kevin yesterday saying, “My baby will be dedicated at church tomorrow.  Will you take pictures for me?”

Ack!  Stand up at the front of the church with everyone gawking at me??  Are you kidding??   

Hundreds upon hundreds of people show up at church.  And in order to take pictures, you have to stand up front with the baby and family and move around.  Move around!  And maybe even stand up on a step or two leading to the platform.  And sometimes, you even have to stand on the platform, looming over everyone.  Some churches would call their platform the altar.  Stand on the altar!  Can I pass out now?!

After a couple of hours of quivering and wimping around the house last night, thinking about everyone staring at me (picture Beaker from The Muppets), I got over it.  Honestly, I did.  My overly-confident self kicked in and everything was was going to be fine.  I mean, I wasn’t going to push the pastor aside, grab the microphone and lead everyone in a prayer, but as long as I didn’t make a spectacle of myself, I was ready to go.

Sunday morning (today), I asked Kevin and his wife, Brandi, to let me take some practice shots to get my camera settings correct before the service began.   The pastor saw what we were doing and told me to “feel free to move around during the dedication ceremony and take pictures from the steps or the platform or whatever you want to do.”  That was nice of him, but I still planned on being discrete and hoping that everyone would be looking at the babies and not me.

People started to arrive.  We took our seats, sang a few songs, then it was time for the baby dedication.  I was doing my best to blend in with the families walking up to the front, when the pastor points at me (what?!) and announces to all and sundry, “And today we have a professional photographer (what?!) taking pictures for us!” (what, what?!).  The families moved aside, the lights went out and a spotlight shone down on me from above.  I think the pastor went on to say something about how I’d be ending the show by singing ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ while tap dancing, but I had trouble hearing that part over the roaring in my ears.

Afterwards, my soup day friends snickered at me and said when they first saw me walking up with the families with babies, that they wondered if I was taking Clarisse up to be dedicated.  They assured me that while everyone else might have been looking at the baby, the Soup Group was staring at me, assessing my “professional photographer on the job” skills.  And my other friend who owns a Clarisse of her own said, “As soon as the pastor pointed you out, everyone stared at you the whole time while you took your pictures.”

I’m sooooo glad I’m not Wimpy Lizard anymore.

And honestly, while a little part of me wished the pastor hadn’t pointed me out, a much bigger part of me was glad that he did.  That way I could just go with it, and move around and stand on the platform and everyone would accept that it was ok for me to do that.

Practice shot


You need to make sure you watch the clip from the Muppets.  Do not stop until you’re 30 seconds in.  That’s when it gets funny.  Those people were genius.