10:55 a.m.- At Slow Train studying Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I have so much to learn. I know more than I used to know, so that’s good. With my film SLR I took my photos on the green auto mode or all the little icon settings, but certainly didn’t branch out there on my own. Then I got a digital point and shoot. I remember the moment I began to figure out a setting that I now know was the exposure compensation button. We were at an old ship wreck on the northern coast. The sun was shining through the clouds in such a way that the rays seemed to be illuminating only the ship wreck. I stood there fiddling with buttons until the the picture on the LCD screen showed me what I saw in real life.

[I seem to have lost that picture in the masses of my photo library.]

Later that year in 2007 my friend, Cecelia, asked me to do her senior photos. I asked if she was sure. i used my little Kodak digital p&s and my Pentax film SLR. By this time I think I had Photoshop Elements 4 or 6 for the mac, but I didn’t realy know how to use it. My freind is from Africa and I’ve found that sometimes hwer skin tone had a strange oraang tint to it. I turned those hpotos into black & white.

Later on, another friend asked me to do her wedding photos in April of 2008. “Um, hello??? This thing on? I don’t know how to do a weedding. I’ve never done one before.” My friend understood that and believed I could do it. She asked me how much I’d charge her. What? Heck, I should pay you for trusting me with such a huge thing. I told her it would be my gift to her. I didn’t even have a digital SLR at the time. I didn’t know what I was going to do. They ended up paying me $300. I was so surprised. Fortunately I had my friend Bryanna be my 2nd shooter. I missed both the cake and the kiss. THE KISS!!!! This couple had never even touched before the wedding rehearsal. [It was a LONG kiss!!!] I learned so much from that wedding. For instance, the lighting at the McMinnville armory sucks. I now know how to take care of that with white balance before I shoot.

In June I shot another wedding. It was great. I was a little more at ease. My sister-in-law assisted me on that wedding. We had a blast! Again, I learned a lot from that wedding. Like, check the background to make sure there aren’t any garbage cans or half of cars that I’d need to later edit out! That clone tool and I became buddies!

Two months later I was the second shooter at Bryanna’s wedding. Whew! That was a relief. So much nicer being the second shooter. It was fun even if I did get the burn of my life. I learned from Krista to check things like hair and the veil so stray hairs don’t need editing out.

It is now 2011. I know so much more than I did in 2008. I just looked at some old photos and cringed a little bit inside. But you know what? I’ve been looking at an old blog of one the top photographers in the wedding industry. Her photos were good, but not stellar like they are now.

Yes, I do have so much to learn, but am confident that I will learn. Each day setting aside time to work on the art and business of photograhy: shooting, editing, organizing, reading, client meetings, album design, learning. Always learning and growing.

I see how for I’ve come compared to where I want to be and I realize that this is a road of hard work ahead. Not a road that I have been well prepared for. Learning to get out of bed when I don’t want to and go to bed when I don’t want to. Saying no, or saying goodbye when I have to move on to the next thing. I’m more motivated these days. Maybe because I finally believe that I can reach these lofty goals I have in life.