As many of you know, a few months ago I was an intern with LeahandMark.com. That experience is now over, but I am still reaping the benefits of being part of an amazing team, of incredibly talented individuals. I feel as though a lot of photographers stick to themselves. They do not wish to work with others, or to share their secrets....not without a fee at least. For me, however, I feel that collaboration is very important if you wish to become successful. I have learned a lot from these people...and I continue to learn from them everyday.
One of the newest photographers I've had the pleasure of working with is new intern, Kristen Bell. She very well may be the sweetest, most genuine person I've ever met. Now Kristen is new to the business and is soaking up all this valuable intern information just as I was a little over three months ago. That doesn't mean I didn't learn from her. I honestly believe that if you look hard enough, you can learn something valuable from every person you meet.
From Kristen I learned to trust and appear calm, cool, and collected. Your first solo wedding will always be scary as a photographer, but you are still there to make the bride and groom feel at ease. No matter how much you are freaking out on the inside...act as though you know exactly what you're doing...not a care in the world.
I was amazed at Kristen's strength as she handled her first wedding. I found myself looking back at the first wedding I ever shot solo and thought to myself...I was freaking out. Literally. It was cloudy and rainy and I had no idea what I was going to do. There is a good chance I even cried just a bit. Not Kristen, she handled everything beautifully.
We all feel insecure at times. Every single one of us. No matter who you are, or how tough you appear...you are insecure. You believe at times that you are the biggest failure there ever was. You tell yourself you can not possibly finish the task at hand because you are not worthy enough. You are not smart enough. You are not...you just aren't. The difference between success and failure is what we choose to do with these feelings.
After the wedding, Kristen and I had lunch together to exchange images and talk about how the day had went. She admitted to having these feelings about her business. Was she really good enough? Perhaps she would fail. Maybe she would have...but she choose to act on these feelings instead of giving into them. She simply pushed them aside...worked through the tough stuff...and moved on. Isn't it better to try and possibly fail than to wonder what if? I think so, especially since there is also a chance you might succeed. Probably a pretty big chance if you put your best into all you do despite your fears of failure.
(For the record Kristen, I don't believe you will fail.)
I also don't think that you...whoever you are...will either.
Kristen might be new to all of this...but I still learned so much from working with her. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by some of the most talented individuals Atlanta has to offer. I am constantly impressed by each and every one of them, insecurities and all. That's what makes them real. That's what makes them artists.
These people have opened my world to opportunities and experiences I could not have had without them. This wedding...the wedding of Savannah and Cris...is probably my favorite wedding to date. I loved second shooting. I haven't done it in a long time, and I had almost forgotten what an interesting twist it provides. I felt blissfully happy about the potential I saw in this location when my husband and I rounded the bend and drove down the winding driveway to the farm. This location was the kind of location we all dream about. Nestled in the mountains. Abundant fields. Barns. Rusty bathtubs...I mean seriously...rusty bathtubs!
I told Kristen to think of the wedding in terms of a book. Make it tell a story from start to finish and think of how you'd lay the pictures out on a page. For whatever reason, that's how my brain sees images. So here it is...the story of Savannah and Cris.