I'll tell you a good little story that happened... I think it was Friday...possibly Saturday... yeah, Saturday I think, not that it matters but anyway.
I've been feeling in a funk over my photography. Maybe it was the reverse swing of the pendulum from the positive feeling of getting out there and getting over some fears and getting some shots, but I suddenly found after a week of shooting that nothing I did was good. At all. And it was very disheartening.
So this went on for most of a week and I just got more and more miserable.
One day last week I was sitting there talking to myself about how awful all these photos were and what a terrible photographer I was and I was never going to be any good and on and on and all of a sudden I went... so?
Like, so what?
What does saying this to myself help? Nothing.
If I'm bad, then go practice and get better. Sitting here telling yourself your photos are bad does nothing at all. NOTHING! It doesn't fix anything, it doesn't help anything, it doesn't make you want to improve, it just makes you feel yucky and not want to take any more photos. It does. Not. Help.
So that was a nice realization. Felt rather shocking at the time even if it seems very obvious to everyone but the mean voices in my head.
So Fri/Sat/Idon'trememberday I decided to try to shake myself out of the "I don't really feel like taking photos anymore" mood and so I fished out my "kit lens" (18-55) that I hadn't used in ages. This lens lets you take wider angle shots but isn't able to do quite the same things as the 50mm I've been using. But man did I have fun. I'd forgotten what a change it is when you a) have a lens you can adjust (the 50 is a fixed lens, you can't zoom it or change it at all) and b) you have a wide angle.
I probably shot a hundred photos in the five minutes after I left my house I was just all ooooh I forgot I could do this! Or this! And look at that tree shadow how cool it looks when I go way wide on it oooh!
And I was really happy I'd done that one little thing to change things up and make me enjoy wandering around taking pictures again.
I was heading downtown towards the buildings so I could see how different it would be doing shots of buildings with a wide angle lens again when I walked past a fellow sitting on some church steps.
I don't like assuming he is homeless, but we do have a number of people in our downtown area who do panhandle and do not have a home, and I think this fellow was one of them. I just always feel uncomfortable using the term "homeless."
So I walked past this guy and thought I heard him say something to me but as it's generally just a request for change, I walked on, until my brain registered that he actually had said "hey, would you take my photo?"
So I stopped, and I turned around, took out my earphones, walked back towards him and said "I'm sorry, I didn't actually hear what you said."
And yes, he wanted me to take his photo.
Now you can imagine how happy this made me! Someone wanted me to take their photo! Someone I would absolutely not have asked and not felt comfortable asking (in case he thought I was patronizing or something) asked me to take his photo.
I did. Doing the best I could with the different lens and still being a little nervous, and not having a whole lot of light (it was that time of evening where there was only sun left on one side of the street and we were in the shade) and I showed him the shots and took some more. We chatted a bit and introduced ourselves and I thanked him for asking and told him he'd made my day. We shook hands and the whole experience was really awesome.
There was one shot I took of him that he said he liked. A couple were goofy, or taken when he was talking, but one he just sat there and smiled and he said he liked that one. So when I got home, that's the shot I worked on.
And you guys? I love what I ended up with. I think it's a really great portrait. It's what would be called a street portrait (not because he lives on the street, just because that's where it was taken, on the street rather than in a studio or posed setting) and I'm really proud of it.
I have a hard time saying that because I then want to say "I know it's not that great or perfect because...." and then I feel bad that I feel bad and, well, I know it's not perfect, but I really like the shot.
So that was cool. And I guess I thought I should share the good moment.