Awhile back I shared one experience that I feel played an important role in getting me to where I am with photography. Now I'll share another.
T was probably the first friend I made when I moved to Oregon. She was one of the people to interview me for my job, and I remember connecting with her right away, as we were in a similar phase of life and had some other things in common.
I did some of the photography at my job, but it certainly wasn't my primary role and I was still feeling very beginnerish. That's why, when T got engaged and asked me to be her wedding photographer, I'm pretty sure my initial answer was that I couldn't do it. But she persisted and got me to at least agree to do her engagement photos as a trial run before I made a firm decision.
After the engagement shoot, T and her fiance basically forced me to agree to do their wedding. ;) After seeing how easy they were to work with, I agreed, but was still very nervous (and yet excited). It helped that they weren't expecting perfection, knew I was an amateur, and just wanted someone they were familiar and comfortable with. They were the perfect fit for my first try.
They let me come to the rehearsal and get to know my way around their church, they were okay with me wandering around to get the right shots during the ceremony, and they never seemed annoyed with me as I took a thousand photos of their "first look" and other portraits. They were so patient and sweet about it all.
My worries and insecurities hold me back from a lot, so it's encouraging to see how God has placed people in my life that have not been put off by my hesitation, but instead have applied gentle pressure (in a helpful, friendly way) so that I would stretch myself. Thank you, T (and your husband T!), for always being confident in me and knowing when to push me a little farther than I'd be willing to go without any outside influence.
I'm so glad I got to photograph T's wedding. I know it was a stepping stone for me. I have learned so much about photography (and photo editing) because of--and since--that experience that I often wish I could redo it now with my new equipment and knowledge. I still have a ton to learn, but there are many things I know I would do differently, so I'm just very glad they had the grace to give me an opportunity to make lots of mistakes.
Later I want to talk more about wedding photography (my very limited experience, and why it is limited), because it's kind of been on my mind recently.