Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go shoot some shots at my mentor’s wedding. It was actually the first wedding I have EVER taken pictures of. Before getting there I was beyond nervous. Thoughts like “Don’t mess up”, “I hope my battery doesn’t run out”, “I can’t let him down”, “Please don’t break any of my equipment”, were running rampant in my mind. This was actually the first time where I completely doubted myself as a photographer.
To make things worse, I get to the wedding and there was another photographer (he was actually the main photographer, I was pretty much just there to catch all of the stuff he couldn’t because he was scheduled to leave early)…This dude had been clearly doing this for years (little old me…entering into my 4th month). He doesn’t come in with a bulky ass camera bag, with a shitload of extra odds and ends like diffusers, reflectors, battery-grips, chargers, etc…but he did come with this swagged out ass Double Cam Quick strap with 2 Flagship Nikon cameras and 2 super huge lenses that looked like he had atleast $10,000 worth of equipment on each shoulder. On his waist there was this freaky lens holding utility belt. I looked at his 2 awesome cameras (Nikon D3 & Nikon D4)…then I looked at mine…which was a little ass Nikon D3100. I almost shed a tear. All I could think about was how crappy my photos were going to look compared to his.
Eventually, after beating myself up for about an hour, I decided to just try my best…and do what I knew…and thats make the best out of what I have. While at the reception, I got a chance to talk to the other photographer, just to do a little networking and also get informed about what equipment works best in different situations. We talked for a good 30 minutes. During the convo I ended up showing him my website on his iphone. He was shocked. All that he could say was “Wtf!?!? You made THESE…with THAT????!?!?!”. I was like ” lol, yeah man, I mean I know I don’t have the BEST cam..or the BEST equipment, but I know my camera, how it works, what it can, and what it cannot do, and thats really important.” He told me that he has been doing photography for about 12 years. The equipment that he had, was equipment that he acquired over those 12 years…he didn’t just didnt go out and purchase all of that awesome shit in one day…it took time…just like it took time developing his techniques, clientel, business, etc. This was a huge reality check.
Today, I got a random call from one of my great homeboys Manny. I pretty much told him the same story…a lot shorter though lol…He’s known for giving me great advice, and throwing in some really awesome quotes. What stuck out today was ”Get better over time…constantly challenge your craft…Use your own voice…Be your own cool…” This was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been at a point in the last couple of days were I’m like “I hope this is the right decision”. I know that I’m talented, but HOW talented am I? Am I going to be world renowned? Am I going to make tons of money?…Only time will tell. A few things are for certain though. It’s not just going to happen. Its going to take time to perfect what I do. I just have to make sure that I continually progress…and just do my thing…