"Success is no Accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."-Pele
When I started my often challenging, sometimes discouraging, regularly overwhelming, but always rewarding journey into becoming a professional photographer, I had no idea how much work was ahead of me. I always knew that I had an "eye" for seeing beauty and, honestly, I thought that was enough. The next few years I learned how painfully wrong I was. For every one new skill I learned, I realized there were ten new skills I still needed to learn.
Recently, a somewhat new friend gave me a little push to try something new that I have been wanting to delve into but haven't taken the time to do. And like any good challenge there was a deadline (I always work best under deadlines). I started looking for inspiration and did hours of self-education. I created a story board with images from amazing artists that spoke to my aesthetic. I then reached out to a couple of fabulous women and asked them to model for me so that I could learn how to create these images from the right lighting, to the best posing, backdrops, clothing, etc. I hired a make up artist, got an assistant, bought some fruit and champagne, and pampered my models for the day.
To say I might have been a bit afraid of the final results is an understatement. Would I be able to pull this off? Would I look like an idiot? Would it be a waste of my time and theirs? Learning can often be terrifying. It can also be extremely fulfilling. I did fail... not everything went the way I had "planned". But more importantly, I succeeded... because some things did go as planned and much greatness came that was unplanned!
This image above was the most daunting to me. Everyone involved said it was their favorite on my story board but I did not have high expectations for pulling it off. While it is pretty much an exact copy of Tom Munro's amazing image of Angelina Jolie, the goal was to use it to practice getting the exact lighting, perfect posing and to hone my editing skills. I'm proud of the results and none of it could have happened without my incredible "team"!
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but this old dog has learned much over the last few years thanks to much persistence but more importantly thanks to the many people around me (both personally and professionally) that support me, educate me, and challenge me. Though I have much more learning to do, I am proud of what I have accomplished and look forward to what lies ahead.