I’ve wondered that a lot over the last week.
“Is this really my job? For real?”
I wake up in the morning, walk my dog, go for a run, make a delicious strawberry (and too much sugar) smoothie, open up my computer, check some emails, maybe reply, contemplate showering, eventually shower, moisturize, get dressed, dry my hair, put make-up on (all in that order), pack up my camera gear, and jump in my car. Re-check my pockets- yep, there’s the crumpled sheet with scrawly directions to my destination. Turn up the Black Keys song that is no doubt playing by now (don’t know who the Black Keys are? Download “Your Touch” – probably their most popular song, and pretty solid), wish that I had seat heaters, even in the dead of summer. Time to get in the zone. Evaluate the weather, clouds, sun, heat, bug index (this process makes me feel rather analytical, almost like what I do is a science of sorts. ha.) Pass MacDonald’s. Find the next driveway, turn around, go back and get a 5 oz. cone from McD’s (they’re $1.39- you CANNOT go wrong). Get sweaty palms because I’m nearing my destination and I KNOW I’m going to pass the driveway. Pass the driveway- of course. Drive in and decide where to park so I won’t be in the way. Check my phone to make it seem like I’m not SUPER EXCITED to be getting out of the car to start this photo shoot. Shake hands, make a good impression (hope they don’t notice that I’m probably 2 minutes late from passing their driveway, oh…and my MacDonald’s detour), and get to work. No, no. Not shooting. The camera gear stays in the bag for a good 20 minutes. By this time I’m chatting up a storm, commenting on the property, asking about the horses, loving on their dog, possibly making weird noises trying to entice their cat to like me (you know you’ve got it in the bag when the cat comes up to you and they say “wow! she never likes anyone!” -always a moment of pride for me, a small victory, if you will). After I’ve tricked people into being comfortable, I haul out the massive camera that looks strikingly similar to what you see on TV behind the nets at the World Cup games. Fear flashes over their faces. Right. She’s a photographer. Ugh. And I giggle- “Oh, this old thing? No worries. I know how to use it.” And then I start shooting. While still making weird noises at their cat, who, I’m proud to say, I’ll eventually have to chase away.
This week, there was little fear in the eyes of the girls I was shooting (really, “shooting”- such a great word to say, so nonchalantly, all the time- yah, I shoot people. tee hee!). It was prom week. The were begging to be photographed. And deserved it. I can’t tell you how many times I actually thought “Is this really my job? Are people paying me to do this? Do they think this is work?” Pretty girls everywhere, beautiful half men, half boys staring at their dates, wondering where these girls ever came from. Sparkles EVERYWHERE, including on me. No tan lines, too much perfume, lip gloss helping spread colds into the next week. And the dresses. OH MY GOSH- the dresses! Loved them so much that I’ve started scheming up a Big Kid Prom (stay tuned for more on this).
Here are the two girls that chose to include me in their magical day. Thanks Kelsey and Natasha for making me feel like I was 18 again. For being so beautiful, for being so fun, and for knowing exactly who you are and where you’re going. You guys are inspirations to girls all over.
And here is Natasha: