Wednesday, September 09, 2009

taking it all in

, originally uploaded by Jennifer Belthoff.

When it comes to photographing people I get all shy and nervous. I am not sure why. But this fear takes over me and I feel so self conscious. I can't shake it. Sure I can be silly and photograph myself with people holding my arm out with camera in hand as far as it can to ensure everyone is in the photo. In fact this is one of my favorite ways to take photos with people. It feels more intimate than someone else taking the camera and snapping the photo. And sure it is easy to photograph flowers, the sunset, and clouds. They are not staring back at me. Watching me contort into all different positions to get the perfect shot. They don't care what the photo looks like after I take it, in fact they don't even ask to see it. But with people it is all so different. They want to see what I snapped and are curious how it comes out. I feel terrified that I will not live up to there expectations of what they thought the photo would look like.
I am still struggling with my larger camera. Still trying to figure out how to get better shots. Not sure if it is my lens but for some reason a lot of my photos (even outdoors) come out a little fuzzy. I just can't figure it out. So the pressure builds when a person is looking at me as a take the picture. The intimate look in there eyes as they allow me to capture a moment in time. I want to feel more comfortable photographing people. I want to learn more about my camera so the photos come out crisp and clear.
For now, to start breaking through my fear I have begun photographing people from behind, when they don't even know I am taking the shot. This gives me time to breathe and relax without them staring right at me. It lets me take the photo without them asking to see it. It is a small step but none the less it is step.


Heather said...

Ah, I can identify. I'm getting better w/ people, but I shy away from the stuff in public I really want to capture--street stuff, market stalls at the Reading terminal. Some days when I get down there, I'll just bring my 24mm or the 50mm so it's less obtrusive. But yeah, what is that? Stage fright for cameras...shutter fright? ;-)

liz elayne lamoreux said...

i love that you are taking small steps. yes yes to that.

love heather's comment. i actually find it easy to be the crazy lady taking photos in public. i just snap away (this comes from several years now of doing so. i used to be really shy about it). but i still have trouble taking photos of people. partly because i don't want them to pose yet i also know candid shots are not always the best. sigh. practice i guess. but, as you know jen, i tend to take self-portraits quite a bit. which is also kind of odd. :)

i am going to try to take the small steps with you...

hope you are having a beautiful day in your corner of the world. i just can't wait to see you in just a month!!!

beth said...

take those baby steps sweetie...and when you finally take those photos with eyes looking back at you, you will be amazed at how wonderful it can feel.....