I have a perfectly vivid memory of looking at my kindergarten teacher’s realistic (ish) crayon drawings of me and my fellow students, and welling with a pungent cocktail of awe, jealousy, and yearning. If only I could do that! And then the sharp pang of humiliation when my childish effort was so abysmally inferior.
After decades of painting, drawing, printmaking, and now, photography, that cocktail of emotions still overwhelms me sometimes. I look at the work of my fellow photographers and wonder if I’ll ever be able to do what they’ve done.
I’ve been learning a new skill: shooting subjects in an aquarium and freezing the splash, or the bubbles, or the waves. It’s intimidating. My fellow Project 52 shooters are advanced photographers, and many are doing high-level commercial work.
And my test shots for this particular shoot—perfume and roses—were okay, but not special. My heart started sinking the day before the due date. I didn’t want to go into the studio.
But as the saying goes, the only way forward is through. You’re afraid of the water, but you jump in and swim anyway. You’re afraid of the violin, but you pick it up and practice, no matter who’s listening. You’re afraid of the camera, but you shoot anyway, and shoot, and shoot.
Until you get it right.