Breaking Boundaries

This spring I signed up for an in-depth year long photography course.  Something I am very much looking forward to, and really need to hone my skills and prepare me for the business side of my art.

Right off the bat, assignment No. 1: take a portrait of a STRANGER.  Yeeessh!  Throw us right in the deep end why don’t ya!  Now, people who know me might think I am an outgoing person, however in reality I am quite reserved.  I like to keep to myself, I would rarely strike up a conversation with a stranger.  So for me, this type of an assignment is quite a challenge.

On top if it I got a late start to the program and find myself behind on two assignments.  So today, determined to get caught up, I jumped in the car and I drove straight to the skate park.  The urban graffiti on that wall is an amazing backdrop for portraits and I knew it would be the perfect spot for a stranger shot.

While I was driving, she started.  That little voice inside my head was saying “Uh, why are you going to the skate park?  Why not just look for a sweet old lady sitting on a park bench, she would be easy!”  “This assignment is supposed to be a challenge right?” the other voice said  “What do you gain by going the easy rout?  You signed up to push myself.  So push yourself!” and no, I do not believe I am hearing actual voices in my head…. at least, I don’t think so.

Anyways, while at the park I started shooting the new sections of the wall.  I met Ty and his buddies skating.  I introduced myself, explained what I was doing and why.  He was more than willing to let me take photos of him skating.  I got a few shots and then asked him for a portrait in front of the wall.  He seemed a little uncomfortable at first, to which I said I was also uncomfortable asking – this is what the assignment is after all.  He relaxed a little bit and ended up being happy to oblige.  Easy as pie.  Guess what, I got a killer portrait.

What was I worried about?  I need to start breaking down these boundaries I have set for myself.  I need to stop listening to that little voice in my head, the negative one.  She is just trying to hold me back.

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