Facing Fears

I have a bunch of people inadvertently fooled on a few of things about me.  First, most people that I meet think I’m sweet.  Second, they don’t think I’m funny.

When I first started writing the blog, people who read it made a point of walking up to me and saying, “I never knew you were funny!” in tones of happy disbelief.  I wasn’t sure how to react.  I mean, I pride myself on my sense of humor and to find out it wasn’t readily apparent to all was distressing.  But at the same time, having people finally acknowledge my great wit was gratifying.  You can see the emotional conflict.

After reading The Blog I’m pretty sure they also figured out I’m not very sweet, but so far no one has ever walked up to me and said, “I never knew you were funny!  And you’re not sweet at all!”  They’re very polite like that around here.

In case I still had you fooled, I’m not particularly sweet.  I’m fair and do my best to understand other people’s points of view, but I’ve never claimed to be sweet.

While people have misjudged me as unfunny and sweet, I’m not sure whether or not I’m managing to fool anyone about my confidence at photography.  If you think I’m confident about photography—ha!  I’m not.   Especially people pictures.

Still lifes are ok.  A still life is patient.  People?  Not so much.  Unless they’re over 50, pretty much everyone you know has attention span issues.   That’s hyperbole…don’t be arguing with me about your endless attention span.  And if you try to prove to me that you have a long attention span I’m sure I’ll get bored and wander off before you’re done.  Come on now.  You know that if someone posts a youtube video longer than 45 seconds you are so not clicking on it.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

And nobody under 50 wants to hang around while the photographer takes forever to snap a photo.

The only way not to take forever to snap a photo is to practice.  And not on just friends.  No, you have to take it a step further.

So, as you know, Ada told me I could practice taking portraits of her daughter before her 8th grade dance.  That was scary to me.  I barely know Ada, there was a strict time constraint, and while I made it clear to them I might not get a good picture, you know they hoped that I would.

All that is called pressure.  I don’t like pressure.

I was a nervous wreck for an hour before taking the pictures.  Why?  Because I hate to fail.  We all hate to fail.

And then the youth pastor at my church asked me if I’d like to be the photographer who takes pictures of the teenagers doing Leisure Dives (Leisure Dives?  See this website.  It’ll take less than 45 seconds, I promise.)  After the Leisure Dive they’d post all the pictures on a website so everyone could vote on the best dive.

Obviously, I told him no.  Not no way.  Not no how.  What a great opportunity to mess up a whole lotta pictures of a whole lotta people.  Not gonna do it.

No, I didn’t really tell him no.  Since I’m a grown up, (roll of eyes and long-suffering sigh) I chose to be mature about it.  If I ever want to get past this fear of failure then I have to face it and toss myself into the deep end.  What better way than by taking pictures of people tossing themselves into the deep end?

I told him I’d take the pictures.  I’m sure I’ll be wracked with nerves right before taking the pictures, and yes, I might fail miserably and every shot will be a big blur or too dark or overexposed or I’ll miss them and get an endless round of splashes and no divers…but I’m going to do it anyway.

Aw, man.  I wish I hadn’t written that last paragraph.  Blech.



Speaking of still lifes and taking pictures quickly, on his way to Photo Club, Scott picked some weeds flowers.  Our assignment was to set a timer for 10 minutes and try to get a great shot of the weeds flowers.  The person with the best shot won accolades from fellow Photo Club members.

Here’s my great shot of the weeds flowers.  What makes it great is that I was in a sunny room, but it looks like I’m in a completely black room.*


Katie, before her 8th grade Farewell dance.

Close up-small

Front porch-small

Scrabble Dance-small

Yes, this one is overexposed with lots of shadows on her face, but that’s what I like about it:

Artsy highlights-small

*How did you make the flower picture look so dark if you were in a sunny room?

Put the flowers in a patch of sunlight.  Set the camera to spot metering.  Set your little red dot on a sunny spot so that the camera meters for the bright spot.  The camera will compensate for all that bright light by darkening the entire picture, which creates the black in the background.


4 thoughts on “Facing Fears

  1. Oh my goodness your photos are great!
    You captured Katie, her youth, excitement for the dance and it’s lovely. I’ll now tell you not to doubt, which is like telling a drowning person to say calm… But seriously don’t doubt your talent of shooting people.
    Again… Amazing!
    -Brooke’s Sister

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