I was thinking the other day during a shoot; What is it the helps me to be the photographer that I am?
Patience is as valuable as currency when you have a nearly 2 year old who does not want to look at the camera. You wait. You distract. And when you have succeeded at this distraction you catch the glimpse of the child looking your way with just the right expression so you pull your camera back up to your eye and... miss it? yep. the child moved... it was too fast... alright... lets try this again.
This is how a lot of my shoots go that involve a toddler. They know exactly what you want and that just happens to be the last thing in the world that they want to do for you. However you have to remain patient because eventually you will get that shot.
Not only has patience helped with children, but recently I sat at a starbucks to meet a client for an hour before I decided they weren't going to show. Yes, I waited an hour. I would call that overkill. My sister asked if I was mad. I explained that something MUST have happened for them to not be able to meet. And I was right. Though that hour did test my patience, I almost had to try and talk myself into being mad at this person because I just for some reason was born with a lot of patience.
Ok so forget people, lets think about how much patience you need to work with a computer... Editing hours on end. Yes I think I drove a nail into the coffin. Photographers might be the most patient people in the world! kudos to all fellow photographers for that one!
So I am about to admit something a little embarrassing (You're thinking "FINALLY! This blog is getting good!")
Do you remember the movie Fireproof? Yes, the movie that had Kurt Cameron in it... Well, acting aside, It taught me a few things about patience. The movie is based off a book called The Love Dare. I went to Barnes & Noble (Where you can find me often) to see what this book was about after watching the movie (See how embarrassing this is?) and one thing stuck out to me.
Here is a quote from the book:
"Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Those
pillars are patience and kindness. All other characteristics of love are extensions of these two attributes. And that’s where your dare will begin. With patience."
Now this book is a 40 day challenge for married people to try and better their relationship. I am aware it is not entitled "Photographers Guide to Shooting Portraits" nor should it be (That could be awkward)
BUT I think that if you love what you do as a photographer you probably LOVE people. Perhaps being a better photographer has to do with how well you can love those people you are photographing. How well you can make them feel comfortable in their own skin sometimes with the ones they love the most near them. So much of Photography is about love. Engagements, Weddings, Babies, Families... Pictures are valuable to us because they have the people we love in them. So if we must learn to revolve around love, and if (As the book stated) Patience is one of the pillars of love Than I feel as if it will take you a long way in capturing what you want to capture and how you want to capture it.
Go at the next photoshoot with a patience and peace about you. Make it a calm environment. Make your client feel comfortable and at home. and I am sure you will find what you are looking for.
This was not a segment of "Photography 101", Just thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head. I am sure you can take this into any field you work in and it will take you just as far. But of course life is about balance and it takes more than just patience to succeed. Maybe you will learn more in "Photography 102". Maybe.
(again what good is a photographers blog without a photo? Not any good at all.)