Thursday, August 9

A Lesson in Self-Directing

As many of you know I'm currently working on my website (I know, I know- I just won't shut up about it). My self-inflicted deadline of August 22 is rapidly approaching. 13 days left. And I've had so much fun going through all of my old work and picking out my favorites (it's so hard!). But after completing a few pages for the new site I realized that I would eventually have to do the "about" page and the "contact" page. And I immediately had an overwhelming sense of dread.

I would need pictures of me.

You don't understand. I'm a photographer. I don't "do" in front of the camera. I do "one eye squinted shut- 'put your arm there' - 'bend your leg a little' - 'you look great!'". I pride myself on the ability to make even the most reluctant model loosen up and look great in front of the camera. But the other night, in an act of desperation to just get these pictures over with and get my website done, I handed my camera to a friend and I self-directed.


I know, it was a stupid idea. But I did learn some things.

I now understand how scary and vulnerable it feels to stand on the other side of the camera in the middle of a field and throw your hands up and say, "now what do I do?!"

It's different being on the other side of the camera. With the camera pressed to my face I can see how my models are interacting with their environments, when their arms or legs look a little weird and need to be adjusted slightly, and if they turn just a smidge they'll be instant super models. Being the model I couldn't see those things. Yes, I knew poses. But I couldn't see myself executing them.

This is what happens when no one is directing you.

The other thing I learned? I apparently talk with my hands. A lot.

Yes, we did end up getting some good pictures out of the shoot (it helps that my friend actually knows how to use a camera and understands what all that crazy camera talk means). But it was a pretty painful experience and it took way longer than it should have. A photo shoot should be fun. It should make you feel special, beautiful, and famous for a day. So when you get your pictures taken, use a professional photographer and never take for granted the fact that they're the ones who have to come up with the poses.

Keep smiling!


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