September 14, 2010

Stagefright

This Sunday, I felt like an imposter. A shell of a photographer. Mike and I stood in a New Haven alleyway waiting for our friend to arrive and I was terrified. One hand had a death grip on my camera and the other was clutching onto Mike for dear life. A storm cloud of doubt raged above my head as stared at the scene before me, hoping the answer would manifest itself. Our friend Ben is a musician and needed some pictures- I had promised to take them. No big deal right? HA. Words that make sense when I am with J&M swam in my brain and danced on the pavement in front of me like a nonsensical parade… directional lighting, natural reflectors, even ISO and aperture suddenly seemed foreign to me. I felt like a child with a grown up camera. Everything I know about photography had seemingly flown out the window and left me standing there terrified, and alone. And I wanted to run. I wanted to run as fast and as far as I could before our friend arrived. But I didn’t. I couldn’t.

I’m not going to lie, the first ten minutes were painful. But I kept shooting. And an amazing thing happened. As I kept shooting and changing settings, and shooting, and changing my angle, something clicked. And just like that- I felt like a photographer again. I don’t think the pictures I took are going to be up for album cover of the year. But I took them. And I like them. And what’s more, is that I banished that little black cloud of doubt. Right there in that alleyway, I conquered my fear and bolstered my confidence. So that the next time I start to feel imposterish- I’ll be more likely to stand straight, look fear in the face, and tell that bully HE should run away from ME.

…&J2

  1. Lara

    Julia, I used to have these moments all the time right before I started shooting. Butterflies would fill my insides and I would become overwhelmed with doubt. But, the more you do something, the more you trust yourself…the more it becomes a part of you – and the easier (and more fun) it becomes. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Alison

    Ah, I still have that little voice in my head every single time I get ready to shoot. But I long ago took it as a challenge to prove to that voice that is wrong each time. It has become part of what pushes me to keep pushing mysef to keep learning and be better. Congrats on pushing through and doing it and getting the results we all see you are capable!

  3. Lou

    Well said Lara! Sounds like the shoot turned out real good. The artist is very lucky to have had you shoot him. Would love to see that shot, sounds really cool!

  4. Brendon

    Great post, Julia. :)

  5. Ed Congdon

    Wonderful post, Julia! It’s important — even crucial — that we recognize and admit our fears. Only then can we face and defeat them. You are a professional, but more importantly, you are human. Congrats to you for standing up to those demons and beating them down. Fight the good fight every day…

  6. Jil

    i loved the pics you posted on facebook (the guitar player, right?)! – "our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we might win, by fearing to attempt"

  7. Marissa Rodriguez

    You go girl! I LOVE the last sentence! I need to remember that for the days I feel like this!

  8. Kristin

    Julia! Scared of your photography skills?!? Pssh girl, your photos kick buuuuttt. That bully should never return again.

  9. MM

    Girrrrrrl, you are the bravest, strongest person I know. This post ROCKS my socks.

  10. Cindy Giovagnoli

    Stuff I love: Julia’s posts and her perfect articulation of a place most of us have been! You are awesome, Julia!! I will definitely think of your words next time I see that bully peek his head around the corner!!

  11. Rebecca

    I definitely needed to read something like that. I can totally relate and have to think it will get easier the more I face it. Thanks for sharing, Julia.

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