A Picture Perfect Night

by Dori Nicole

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Last night was an amazing experience. A group of photographers here in Sacramento put on a free lighting workshop and my mentor was one of the hosts so naturally, I was invited to take part. A few hours before Showtime I simply was not in the proper frame of mind to do anything. Thoughts swirling of how I’ll make money after quitting my job, what I’ll do next, and lacking confidence believing I was not good enough to become the photographer I want to become.

Was I making a huge mistake?

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Needless to say, I went anyway. If nothing else, I would at least be distracted from my own negativity and will have the opportunity to practice, gain more mentoring and networking opportunities. Im all too glad I pushed myself to take this step.

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Here is my favorite shot from last night with Model Alexis Pinkney. She was absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t have picked a better person to be my very first model to shoot.

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After the shoot, I came home to see a lot of the event’s attendees posting their favorite shots of the night and by then, my confidence waned again. Jeez, I have no photo editing software, I obviously didnt use the same settings as these guys. Was I doing it wrong? What if I post and the model hates it and asks me to take them down. My style is so different from everyone else, what if no one likes it? What if no one gets me?

After worrying more, getting the shakes, I literally went and transfered the images to my phone since that was the only way I had to edit photos and adjust the levels that needed adjusting. After a swift kick in the ass by my boyfriend who said, “Shut up and just post them!” … I shut up and posted them. Hoped for the best.

Bam! More opportunities opened up. The response was overwhelming by the model, her family, my mentor and the photo group. I got so overwhelmed and my heart fluttered. The models mother messaged me offering more opportunities and told me much she was blown away that I had captured Alexis the way SHE actually sees her.

I couldn’t believe it.

I began to think, at 2am while I was running around jumping for joy at all the response, that What if i hadn’t taken the plunge? What if I hadn’t saved up and shelled out $1200 on equipment? What if I had listened to my negativity and turned down the opportunity to be mentored? Turned down the opportunity to participate in last nights workshops while I layed around trying to sort through my swirling thoughts?

None of this would have happened. No new doors would have opened, I would have learned nothing new. And I never would have known I could affect people this way at such an amateur level.

I can’t wait to see how much further I can go. How much better I can get. I have no doubt that Ive made the right decision.

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